Created: 8/2/1973

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Soviet Military Posture and Policies in the Third World

Volume I



?3 Copy N!


Jhe following intelligence organizations participated1 in Ihe pteparolion ol the estimate:

The Conlrol Intelligence Agency and rhe intelligence organization) ot me Depart, mentt oi State and Defense,. and the Treasury.


Ihe Deputy Direclor al Central Intelligence

lhe Director ot Intelligence ond Paieoreh, Deportment ot Slot* The Direclor, Detente Inlelligence Agency Ihe Direclor, Notional Security Agency

The Director. Division ol International Security Attain. Atomicr" million The Special Asjiilanl la the Secretary ol the Treaiuiy

A bi raining:


The Aiilnont Director, Federal Bureau of liwenigalion. the subject being out tide of hit jufiidktlon.











Broad Selling of Sovicl Third World

Military and Economic Aid

The Soviet Miliiary Presence

Aims and Opportunities in Particular Regions .

Thc Mediterranean and Middle East

Red Sea and Persian Culf Areas.

The Sovicis and Middle Eastern Oil

Soulh and Southeast Asia

Latin America


Future Trends: Variables and Constraints IS

The Uniied States-Soviet Interaction











Thi: USSR has long regarded various parts of the Third World as important in the competition with its major rivals, the US and China, As their policy has increasinglylobal scope, the Soviets have become more deeply involved in many areas of thc Third World. Thc USSR's political objectives in the Third World and its military deployments in distant areas have become closely linked and mutually supporting; their military presence helps the Soviets to gain influence and this influence helps them to expand their deployments.

- -Time and experience, with mixed successes and frustrations, have made the Soviets more aware of thc diversity of the Third World. They have come to realizeniform policy toward the Third Worldhole is neither feasible nor productive. Tlieirnow is differentiated country by country.

last few years haveradual but significant eliange in rivalry bclween tlie US and USSR in the Third World. This change is due lo awareness on the pari of both powers of limilations on their ability to influence developments in Third World countries, und greater skepticism about whether, in sonic cases, thewould be worth the cost. It also involves constraints im-

posed on thc USSR by economic and military priorities andpolitics. It furtherew dimension in international affairs created by sharpening competition for natural resources. And it has undoubtedly also been due to the fact that Moscow has been devoting greater attention and energy to issuesits posture toward the West and China.'

These changes have not Jed Moscow to alter its basic methods of operation, but they do introduce new complexities in thc Third World environment and in Soviet calculations about it. Although thc Soviets seek to expand their presence and influence, lhcir approach hasmore selective than itew years ago.

local situations create opportunities for Moscow to deploy foices with limited risk in support of political objectives, or toaid in return for thc use of facilities, it continues to do so.

Soviets continue to regard military aid as thc single most useful instrument for gaining influence in the Third World and. in some cases, for gaining access lo facilities for support of naval aod air operations. Aid levels vary in response to availableand the changing needs and absorptive capacity of the recipients. But they have often fallen short of recipients' desires.

Soviets haveajor inilucnce in the Middle East; they have attempted to offset the setback they suffered in Egypt iny augmenting lhcir military aid and presence in Syria and Iraq. They also have been very active innd Cuinea. And iheytrong position in India. In other areas, the Soviet miliiary presence has not grown significantly in size or scope.

Soviet military forces now deployed in Third World areas chieflyolilical-miliiary function in situations shortajor war. The Soviets have not developed, nor are they developingighbasis, the kinds of forces necessary to intervene militarily in Third World countriesarge scale or against significant opposition.

'hatrtrnaX wMhui thrwwnulty a* to how ufmficant UUtcrrmSoviet brhavto to thr TWd Wortl Tt*are hiBy dMuanll tht Int.


There will, nonetheless,radual growth in the USSR's capabilities for deploying forces in the Third World over the next few years.

lorces they have presently deployed are suitable forassistance to Third World countries in certain kinds ofIn some circumstances they could serveeterrent to Western intervention, and they are also capable of engaging in gunboat diplomacy, intelligence collection, protection of Soviet merchant, oceanographic and fishing vessels, and personnel

Soviet forceseployed overseas to augment the Soviet military presence in the Third World, depending on many variables The navy generally is thc most flexible and ready of these forces. The Soviets could increase considerably the minrfier of naval combatants deployed in certain areas, and ihey have under construction newer classes of ships, including an aircraft carrier, which couldariety of tasks in Third World areas.

they continue to eipand their air and sea transport, andtheir tactical air, air defense, and naval forces, ihey will be better equipped to deploy combatant forces in certain distant areas and to support them. Thc Sovieis would have littlein moving air defense equipment and systems to most Third World areas.

Future Soviet opportunities will be greatest in those countries which feel threatened by regional adversaries, especially when the latter are friends nnd allies of lhc US or China. The Soviets will encounter obstacles as well as opportunities. They will, in particular, frequently face the problem of reconciling their global interests witb the parochial interests of Third World clients. They will be vulnerable to further reverses of the kind suffered earlier in Indonesia. Sudan, and Egypt.

It is of limited predictive use to categorize possible targets of Soviet interest In oiderof relative importance. In general, however, theEasi and South Asia remain areas of particularly high priority.

thc Middle East, the Soviets will be anxious to avoid direct collision with the US, hut they now consider they have important intctests of their own tn protect, and expect tooice in


decisions affecting thc area.risis situation. Moscow'swould be affected by its assessment of US readiness to ae. in the particular situation.

Sovieis must recognize that radicalism will probably gain ground in the Persian Gulf area and they will hope to exploit it. Yet any Soviet push in the Gulf which threatened Western access to oil wouldigh price for Soviet relations with the US, other industrialized slates, and the larger regional powers. This consideration is likely toonspicuous enlargement of the Soviet military presence in thc Gulf."

Indian Ocean is likely to see some growth in the Soviet naval presence; the extent of the increase will depend on developments in the area and on strategic calculations, including whether thc US presence there grows and the course of Soviet-Chinese relations.

the Caribbean, the Soviet military presence is likely to continue to increase gradually, bui the Soviets would almost certainly test US reactions before increasing this presence Latin America, the outlook is for some increase insupply relationships and in naval visils.

on the whole will remain low on the Soviet scale of priorities.

is unlikely that the USSR will be prepared lo enter formalwith the US affecting regional arms control.

Moscow will continue to exercise some care about encroaching on US interests in the Third World. The Sovieis will, of course, notsee those interests in the same light as die US docs, and, inimmediate advantages, they could miscalculate the risks. If they were to come to believe that the global balance had definitely shifted in their favor, they might grow bolder in the use of their forces. But, unless ibey arc convinced that this hasixture of prudence and opportunism is likely to characterize their course.

j ol the Awfcimu Chief ol Staff. Intelbuence. USAF. are tet forth in hiiu triumph AA.




Tliis Estimate examines Soviet militaiy posture and policies in the Third World and their interaction both with the USSR's political aims and the Third World environment. While the Estimate takes account of the military implications for the US, NATO, and China of the USSR's military mvolvernent in the Third World, it does not address Soviet strategic or general purpose forces asarc subjects of other Estimates. It should also lie understood that the role andof Soviet forces are treated throughout in the context of situations short of general war.

This Estimateomewhat different scope and focus than the previous EstimateThe Uses of Soviet Military Power in Distantated. The latter document traces and describes thc evolution of thc USSR's position in the Third World and describes some of the ways the Soviets have been involved militarily there in the pastears or so. Historical matter of this kind has. for the most part, been omitted from the present Estimate. The background material which follows concentnites on developments of the last three years orrincipal aim here is to show how the USSR's policies toward thc Third World may have been altered during this period and which underlying elemenls in those policies remain unchanged.

A word about the use of terms. "Third World" is taken here to refer to the non-aligned countries of the underdeveloped world,North Korea, North Vietnam, and Cuba are largely excluded from consideration. Tbc Soviet "militaiy presence" in distant areas is, iu turn, not limited lo Third Worldhe most extensivepresence in distant areas Ls on ships at sea.




Setting of Soviet Third World Policy

The USSR's peispcclive on thc Third World and thc Soviet place in it has changed considerably over the years.hen Moscow began seriously trying toactor in the Third World, it lackedit now has. It had no means ofconventional military power ora significant presence beyond thc Eurasian land mass; Ihe US and its allies had forces capable of ranging widely, and these were backed by the US superiority in nuclear strike forces. Tlie West continued to exercise strong influence throughout the Third World; anti-Western attitudes were sharply on thcbut the Soviets, having virtually no presence of any kind, had little chance of taking advantage of them.

Almostears later, the scene isThe USSR, ils position grounded in nuclear-missile parity with Ihe US,lobal policy. Largely by providing support fur nationalist forces, it lias gained entree throughout the Third World; in thc Middle East il hasajor influence. It now believes thatuperpower it needs to be seen and to be able lo make itself felt in the Third World as everywhere else. It considers that thc "equal security" which it posits as the basis for the US-Sovietuncttun not only of thc comparative levels of US and Soviet nuclear-missile forces but also of thc total relationship of military forces world-wide.

Until thc, the Soviets relied on military and economic aid together with various hums of political activity in building up their position in the Third World- Since then the USSR's growing capability tomilitary forces to distant areas has given

its presence in Ihe ThirdewThis capability, originally developed to support Ihe defensive and deterrent mission of the Soviet Armed Forces, has been foundseable alsoegional political role. The influence obtained by the USSR has. in turn, enabled it to secure from certain Third World countries access to porl facilities,rights, and the like, useful to Moscow in the maintenance and improvement of thc operational capabilities of these forces. In this way. lhc USSR'S political aims in llie Third World and its military presence in distant aieas have become mutually supporting.

oviet policy toward the Third World now aims not only at winning influence at the expense ol the Wesl, especially thc US. but also at limiting thc Chinese role. At the same time, Moscow still regards thc Third World as an arena of ideological struggle, but the tinge of revolutionary optimism formerly found in the Soviel approach to the Third World hasbelieves that most Third World countries will noi be ready for communism for some lime yet. What it wants now is lo bring as many ol Ihem as possible along to the point svherc they will customarily suppurt Ihc USSR On major internationaldetaching more and more of them from thc Wesl, while checking the growth ofinfluence. To do this, the Soviets arc ready to deal with virtually anyradical or otherwise, Israel, are usually the result of particular political circumstance) rather than of ideologicalocal Communis! Parties have in some instances Served as channels of Soviet influence with Third World governments, but in many cases they have proved embarrassing lo the relationship and are frequentlyhy the Hussians as more hindrance lhan help.


f the lastear* hawreat increase in Soviet interest in the Third World, the hut three or four haveubtle change in thc nature of the rivarry and even in the term* of engagement lietween tlvc USSB und the Went in thisozen yean ago il was widely believed in the USSH, andstwdl. that ihe Third World wai about toain arena of the Cold War. This belief has fadedonsequence of growing realism on both sides Hbout the intractability of the Third World's problems, of the decline in bipolarity in world affairs in general, and of (banges in the structure of relations between the superpowers. It is also related lo lhc relatively enhanced power of such states as Israel, Iran, and India which have, or are seeking, Ihe power to play arole in the affairs of their respectiveThese trends are reflected not only in less intense East-Westeveral regions than in previous years, but also in less inclination on tbe part of regional slater to

feel theyline iqi on one Side or another

in the superpower rivalry.

tiere are abo certain new dimensiom in international affaits associated withrequirements anditwith population growth and related socio economic pressures These developments have been working to modify the priori tins of the superpowers in thc Third World. In fhe broadestost major nations today show declining interest in ideology, and to some extent also inrivalry per se,rowing concern with tangible national needs like energy and food. Peisiau Culf oil is the most noteworthy of these needs in the case of the US nnd thc industrialized West, fisheries and oceanicin previously uncxpkntrd sea areas bordering on Third World statesatter ol growing Soviet alleiition. These maysignificant issues in lhc Soviet-Western

rivalry in thc Third World of they may he resolved by one or another form ofi- run. The point is thai concern overof Ihis kind appears qiiile likely toin some degree at least, the politico-ideological rivalry thai prevailed over recent decades.

ragmatic appreciation of the diversity of the Third World liased on lengthening ea-prnente. together with shifts in Soviethas given rise to iin-rentingIn the Soviet approach. The Soviets not only do not expect as much of thc Third Worldhole as ihey once did. but Ihey no longer simplistic-ally retard its various partsingle political entity. For example, in Southeast Asia generally. Vietnam aside, commercial lies figure prominently, partlytheyoviet economic need as wellolitical purpose, and partly because the countries nl the area have not been keen for developing other kinds of relationships with the Soviets On the other hand, in Africa, politicalovert propaganda, clandestine activities, or conventionalrelatively heavy sveight when compared with military and economic aid. The amounts and types of Soviet economic aid dispensed to particular Third Worldvaries. It is military aid which has proved to be the most useful instrument foe Ihe So-sirts in the Thud World, especially in the Middle East Third World countriesSoviet military equipment, training and advisors have received Ihem. though notin the amounts requested. But only in Egypt did the Soviets carry their commitment to the point of providing large numbers of combat personnelon-Communist country.

8 Domestic factors have imposed some constraints on Soviet policy. It is goodlor Ihe Soviet leaders lo Ik- seen lo be making tlicorce Iu Ih- reckoned wiih



Ihoood iw can no doubt alio be made on security grounds forthe range and flexibility of Soviet miliiary forces. But foreign aid isopular cause with many Soviets who eOunl, especiallyeriod of economic slackness and domestic shortages. And the Soviet leaders, Brezhnev included, have not been so sure of theirlhat they could afford to ignore the risk of political fall-out from serious failures or overextension in Third World ventures.came closest to this kind of overcommll-ment in Egypt0oscow's anger at the ouster from Egypt inith the loss of facilities it had found useful, was tempered by some expressions of relief at tlie opportunity to reduce its commilment.

Military and Economic Aid '

volume of Soviet military aidover the years in response toand the changing needs andcapacity of thc recipients. Bythere hasendency forfocus on the Middle East and Southbulk of Soviet miliiary aid still flowshandful ofIndia.Iraq. At the same time, Moscow ison thc lookout for promisingPeru and Chile being currentpoint.

oscow extendedin military aid, all of it toIndia, Iran, Syria, and Yemenfigure is above thc average of thcwell below those0 andextension oF aid01 washigh because of the extensiveof Egyptian air defenses andfor more equipment.early one-fourth ol thc total of allmilitary aid, was drawn or delivered in

'Seeit list ion of Soviet jiillitmy and economic nil'-

lthough deliveries2 declined to0 million worth ofIrom the peak levelo millionhey still were well above shipments0 million annually during.

Despiie thc expulsion order ofoviel miliiary equipment continues to flow to Egypt, althoughuch reduced level. Overall deliveries to the Middle East3 aie expected to be valued al about the same amount as thoseut Syria willEgypt as Moscow's main arms client. Larger shipments to Syria, and possibly to ii.'l. should offset the decline in Sovietto Egypt. Deliveries to Syria, which began their rise inotalled0 million in thc firs! halfhis com-pares withmillion for the entireost of the equipment included in these deliveries was ordered beforeto Iraq,1 accord, arc expected lo increase during the second halfn South Asia, India continues to be the largest Soviet arms client and is expected to0 million in Soviet military aid inequal to thc amount received

The amount of economic aid commuted to Thud World countries also has fluctuated considerably. Bui recent years have seen it being dealt outore selective basis and purely economic considerations are being given increased weight. Thus, most aidnow involve repayment in fuels, raw materials, and consumer goods for which the USSReal need. They also have the aim of creating markels lor Soviet machinery and equipment.

The Soviet Miliiary Presence

the expulsion from Egypt Inthe Soviets have had no regular military



stationed in llw Third World. Their pn-wiKe no* consists of military advbon and

Inin voir*-periodic deploy-

in. .it. of rcconrumsaiKv aircraft, and Iheir ships al sea. The Soviet*olicy of main laintng afloat .vuppoit facilities for their naval foi cm, looking toward increased self-mil: ciciKY. supplementing these by access lopal and naval facilities in the eastern Mediterranean, Gulf of Aden, Persian Culf, the (Caribbean, and eastern Atlantic. Soviet naval deployments in distantin ship-operating days outside homethe total of visits to foreign portt by Soviet naval ships have leveled offxcept in the Indian Ocean where,and after the Indo-Pakistani warhere was some augmentation of the Soviet nasal force,

oviet military forces now deployed in Thud World areas chieflyolitical-militaryituations short ofmaiorhese forces are suitable for rendering assistance to Thitd Wurld countries in certain kinds of conflicts. In some eiicumstanees they could serveeterrent to Westernand they are also capable ofunboat diplomacy, intelligence collection, protection of Soviet merchant, oceanographu

' Willillflril meeptKiti of the Mrdld'riiinuT)

if. theseuuld hjve at UeilIknltcd mililiiivl* (vmlm"the USSR mtifomtn. TW nufa-UryV MfdifSea ot oDurw ii'-iN.'n'li MiiMOw'tir. tbc rrfjionat litua Hon. The Soviet Navy li Iheieart of the itia-ti'gir default of tlie USSH: It extends thu Bluet Sen FImi'h rtniew of tho maritime approach to lhe mhiUi-rrn (link Through th" eilemivr collection o* taijet'inouWhe SovWtv Wrp rk*a. the US mm IVt and otherorces that air ixmnii TtirvptactNc aaudiip. aiillali. .iirlwetheni

and fishine. vessels, and the evaciiatitm ofpersonnel ashorc.

15 Tin- Soviets, bowwer, have notthe kinds of forces they would need to ii militarily in Third World countriesarge vcale. They do not have the in irastnictuiv necessary to nipport operations against hostile shores. The Soviel navalIs small0t has been developed lor operations on the periphery of the USSRimited capability to move en ntnis* across the oceans, and there is no evidence flat tlie Soviets plan to increase its size ladiuiily. Tactical air support, crucial in any intervention against significant opposition, is lacking Soviet tactical aircralt have limited range, cannot be refueled in mid-air, and there are serious problems connected with theof countries on thc Soviet jierlphery The present lack of overseas air bases and aircraft cairiers virtually rules outashore against significant opposition moreew hundred milesnd base where Soviet or friendly fighters can be called upon foi support.

ven after the cutback in Egypt, the Soviet military presence in the Mediterranean region remains larger than in any other Third World area In military terms, the bulk of the peiionncl in Egypt untilncluding the combat units, wore serving Egyptian latlier than Soviet purposes. For the Soviets the chief military effect of thc expulsion was Ihe loss of an air supportprincipally maritime reconnaissance and anllsubin.trine warfare. Soviet naval units continue to use Egyptian shore facilities, thoughore closely controlled basis, and thc Soviets retain overflight and staging tight* for tlieir tianiport aircraft. The use of Syrianwarships now call louttnely at Taituslalupplement to the Egyptian facilitiesedge against



losses of lhc use of thesehe Soviet Mediterranean navalon the average, ofourface combatants, aboutubmarines, andup-portoperates toward the eastern pari of the Mediterranean and could be concentrated at any point in that area should the Soviets wish to interpose them-selves belsveen the shoresriendlyand any naval force menacing it. In past years, fhe force participated in joint exercises with Aiab navies and. iu the springt helped in transferringgiound force equipment and troops to Syria

hi; Soviet naval presence in thc Indian Ocean is now continuous and has grosvn to abouthips of svhich less than half are combatants.'5 The port and airfield facilities now being worked on by the Soviets in Somalia, and their naval communicationsthere could be used to provide spacereconnaissance, logistics, andfor thc Indian Ocean force. The Soviets also call intermittently at Iraq'sCulf port at Urnmthey are helping rhe Iraqis toat Aden in South Yemen. Small numbers of Soviet ships are found regularly in the Caribbean and West African xvatcrs; in the latter area. Soviet units have been usedhow ofthe government of Ghana, and in support of tlic government of Guineaest African logistichas been useful, but not essential, toships en route to and from thc Indian

* As many as lhm<ramport airi-inft. which prntuhlv have electronic warfare capabilities, nrrivtit in SyriiT during the inII oluch aircraft could Mipport lonlinxency rcconnniuance efforts ngniiut Israel or tlx- Ui Sixth Fleet.

"Total iii<link'sand tpMv eventships. Iml excludes aboutnil* oiicaccd in li.ulioi I'lcinr.i- inLuUsh

Ocean. During thc past three years, roughly one-third of these ships have stopped in West

African ports

IS. Ceiiain Soviet forces can be deployed overseas to augment lhe Soviet military pres-eaca ha the Third World:

general, the navy is the most llcxiblc and iriily of fhesr lorces. and thc Sovietsoved il on shortwith naval infantrytrouble spotsn Ihe Indian Ocean during the Indo-Pakistanihe So-xiefs .ould increase considerably the number of combatants deployed indistant areas. The number wouldupon many variables, including the destination, purpose, and desired length of the deployment, requirements tohomeland defenses, and theolitical climate.

Sosiet logistic system is capable of supporxig normal leseb of activity even by the augmented forces, but il would imposr limitations in the event of ahigh lesel of activity or combat operations. Water, ptovisions and. in some instances, fuel arc available tocombatants in many foreign ports,ogistic system dependent upon such ports could lie disrupted (oraccording to lhe whims of local leadvis. lhe purpose of thc Soviet opei-ation. and tbc general international situation

Soviets would have little difficulty in moving air defense equipment andto most Third World areas. As they continue to expand llseir air and sea transport, and imp*or their tactical air. air defense, and naval forces, they svdl be better i- jilipped to deploy combatant lorces in certain distant aieas and toIhen However, in most cases Ihey would 'use to be prepared to man the



themselves if they were to be fully effective.

rases of little ot no opposition,of naval infantry or deploymt-nts of airlsomc units could, of course, bv made but tbc use of regular ground forces would present more difficult logistic problems.



n sum, iteent years haverend toward greater realism and differentiation in Soviet policies toward the Third World. The Soviels Iiave been devoting relatively less attention to some areas. This Is especially true of Africa and Southeast Asia {Indochinat is noi so in thc case of the Middle East, nor in Ihe case ot the IndianIn tlie Middle East, the USSR's increased activity in some countries, eg, Syria andhelped it to offset Ibe sharp set-luck it suffered in Egypt. Thc Soviets also have been very active In Somalia, Yemennd Guinea. And.onsequence of ils support lor the winning side in the India-Pakistan war, Moscow has now become the major external influence in India Beyond these areas, the USSR's position in thc Third World lifts not changed appreciably, nor has its military presence grown significantly in Size or scope. Measured against Ihu dramatic growth from the middle to the, when thc Soviets were greatly increasing orilitary presence for the first time in the Mediterranean, Indian Ocean, aod Caribbean. Iheir presence in many areas has stabilized or leveled off. This has been due in part to tho lack of piomising new openings in the Third World and to operationalaffecting Soviet deployments. It has undoubtedly also been due to the fact that Moscow has in recent years been devoting greater altcntiou and energy lo ism hiits posture toward the West and China.

ow much Ihis consideration hasSoviel policies in thc Third World is lhe subject of considerable debate within the Intelligence Community. No one deniesetente policy, or the need lo cope with the China problem in its various ramifications, is having an impact on other Soviet policy calculations Neither does anyone believe that these factors will lead thc USSH radically to constrict its role in the Third World. Detente docs not mean an end to Soviet competition with Ihe Wesl. bul rather an adaptation of the rules of engagement The fact lhat theCommunity finds so large aof agreement on the judgments of this Estimate should not disguise the fact that different agencies and analysts assigndegrees of Importance lo detente and (he China problem in terms of the eaten! of their influences on Soviet decisions, past andabout how active andolicy in thc Thud World tlie USSB should pursue, and how much risk to accept. Inhe DIA. Army, Navy, and Air Eorcv would give less weight to the constraining factors than the CIA, State; 1MB. NSA. and Treasury. By tlse same token, the former are inclined toto lhe Soviets greater willingness to press hard and to run riskj.

espite thc changes of Iho last few years, Moscosv's methods of operation and tlic premises of its policies remain unaltered. The Soviets conUnue to believe thatromisingin the case of countries which think tliemsdvcs externallygaming access lo, and influence on. Third World countries. In return for military aid, the Soviets hope in many cases to gain access to shore facilities for the support of their naval and airAnd where regional conlhvts have crc-aicd openings and the Soviets have seen thc opportunity lo deploy naval forte* in support of political ends with small risk of military engagement, they have doneCuinea.



more imporlantly. in thc Indian Ocean dining thc conflict over Bangladesh. Only in rare circumstances, however, has Moscow been willing to venture, direct militaryon the territoryhird World country and there arc few, if any. Third World countries which would be willing to have the Soviets present in this way except in extremit. But thc stimulus ol ideological, and even more of great power rivalry lemaitis and thc USSR Is determined to play to the full its role as one of the world's two global powers. Its forces capable of operating in the Third World will continue to grow (the first Soviet aircraft carrier will enter servicend. as the USSR continues to make itsfeltharpeningfor energy and food resources is likely toew element into the rivalry*.

Aims and Opportunities in Particular Regions

The Mediterranean and Middle East

The USSR has more at slake in the Middle East than in any other Third World area. Besides protecting its position as aplayer on the scene, it will be looking for opportunitiesain leverageegion where thc West has vital economic interests, oil interests in particular. Thc Soviets will also seek to improve the operationalof their Mediterranean navalthough its overall size will not necessarily growto achieve afor operating more extensively in thcMediterranean.

Egypt will continue lo bulk large in Soviel Middle Eastern policy. Itajor voice in Arab councils and Ihe focal point of the Arab conflict with Israel, and itey geographical positionis

the Mediterranean, the Suez. Canal, and thc Bed Sea. For their part, tlie Egyptians, even after thc lalling-out last year, continue to rely on the Russians for diplomatic .support, and military and economic aid. The Soviets, as well as thc Egyptians, will want to prevent adeterioration in their relationship, and this willontinuing flow ofand military assistance.

But with Nasser dead, andaning force, Egypt's roleolitical bridgehead iu the Middle East has diminished. Thc Sovietso widen their political base in the Middle East. They probablythat, on the svhole, they can make most headway by cullivaling other radical Ai.ib states, stressing the development of strongn bilateral relations with them, and taking into account particular ambitions and animosities. But, while this is where the Sovieis see the most promise at present, their interests in the area are broad; they svill also bemore slowly and morebring along their relations svith states of all kinds, whether they arc anti-Western or pro-Western, Arab or non-Arab.

Moscow is not likely to have an easy lime in winning tlie cooperation of thc North African states in its efforts to develop itspresence in the weslern Mediterranean. The Soviets have lately made some progress in their relations with Morocco, where King Hassan has shown interest in expandingtics with the Russians and in obtaining more of their military equipment, evidently thinking hc can strengthen his internalbyolicy. But thc Maghrebgenerally inhospitable to Sovietthis is at least as true of the "radical" stales as of the others: Algeria, whileto receive substantia) amounts of aid from lhe Soviets, has managed fo keep them


ins length, while Oadhafi's Libyadeeply hostile to Soviet Communism.

'Mm- Arab-Israeli conflict has longseful .source of leverage for the Soviets and .stilt is,the hardening of Israel's position and mountingust raticontains risks for the Soviels and no longer holds out thc kind of polilical rewards it .once offeredew Arab-Isiaeli war would almosi ocii.uuly go against their clients unless the Soviets became involvedaior way. Such intervention being unlikely, they would stand to be severely embarrassed. Moreover, as Communist theorists in Moscow see it, the Arab slates' preoccupation svith thc issue and the attendant heavy military costs delay the kind of internal political, economic, and social changes svhich they want to see occur.must nonetheless continue to supply its Arab clients svith arms, at least to the extent that they svill not appear to be wide opensraeli attack. Yet, the USSR needs tothc amounts and types of arms supplied for fear that its Arab clients svill miscalculate their strenglh and get themselves and thein trouble.

Because of these concerns, tlic Russians would like to reduce thc risk of renewed Arab-Israeli conflict They might be attracted lo an interim agreementay of accomplishing this^ Ihe appeal of such an agreement would bc thc greater if it promised the icopening of the Suez Canal, since this would enable the Soviets to link up their Mediterranean and Indian Ocean naval operations But (hey would not expend much of their politicalwith their Arab friends lo bring aboutesult. In any case, they would insistajor voice in any negotiations and would guard against an Outcome svhich would undercut then influence svith lhc Arabs. If

they concluded that such circumstances sverc unobtainable, they would piobably beto live with the present stalemate,that it could be kept from deterioratingew war.

Rod Seo and Portion Gulf Areas

iH. Soviet interests in the Red Sea and Persian Culf haveiddle East and an Indian Ocean oxpeel;

both areas, tho USSR's militarybuttress its relations with radicalYemenraq, and Somalia, and. in return fot (heir military assistance, (lie Soviets arc being given access to shore facibfies.

closure of the Suez Canal handicaps Soviet operations in the Persian Gull, the Red Sea, and the Indian Ocean areaNevertheless, they keep ships In these areasegular basis and they svill see value In continuing to do sothis will enable them to show the flag, while providing additionalexperience and training for tbcii naval forces.

moreole tlie Soviets play in both areas, tbe more they run the risk of becoming unpiofltiibly embroiledore conspicuouspresence on their part could create alarm in Iran and many Arabwhere the Persian Culf iscould become politically counter-productive for tbe Russians. Tbe Soviet position will also be complicated by divisions among Aiab revolutionary groups seeling Moscow's aid. lack olover such groups, and by rivalry svith China.


Ihe Russians clearly aim al obtaining wider influence in Ihese areas. The Soviets must reckon thai tlic chances arc Link- good that radical Arabwill in due course gain ground in the Arabian peninsula and among the mini-states of the Persian Gulf, creating situations they will want to be in ato influence. And Moscow's Interest iu the area cannot help but be whetted by thc knowledge thai Western Europe. Japan, and Ihe US have an increasingly vital stake in its oil resources.

Ihe Soviets and Middle Eastern Oil:

lie USSlt's political position in the Middle East and its substantial militaryconfer influence which might enable Moscow to play On US. West European, and Japanese concerns about oil supplies. Thcsvill also remainosition to lend political and propaganda support to thc Arab oil-producing states if they should undertake moves to limit or stop oil production and Ihey would expect their military presence in the area toeterrent to any Western action to secure oil by military means. There arc. hosvever. distinct limits on thc role svhich Ihe Soviels can play as regards oil operations in thc Middle East. They have fairly close ties svith only one major Oil exporter. Iraq, and the governments of the Middle East now1 in posver (or likely to gain power) svould resist any Soviet effoit toeasure uf control over the production andof their oil In any case, (he Soviets would recognizeerious attempt to bring prcs-

' 'I'lusean1 itiawri fromliitcriiiiTKinnl I'ctroleiiminted II6 of trial |iu bl mi Hon

sine on the West by exploiting lis nil needs or actually to interfere with the oil supply would |topaidize the entire structure of East-West relations."

South and Southeosf Asia

f and when the Sue*eopt ned, thc transit distance for Soviet naval shipsbetween Western and Eastern Fleet areas will bo greatly shortened and lhe use of the Indian Ocean for this purpose will litcrc-ase. The reopening would also enable the Soviets to maintain an increased naval presence in the Indian Ocean andomewhat higher Irvrl of operational activity. This may happen even if the Canal remains closed But. two contingencies in particulariy well leadarger Soviet militatyserious threat to India,ulislan-tia) growth iu thc US military presence hi the

"The Atutuor Chief of Staff.hrtumaph uiutattatct (hedr*u* ot rhe Soviet Union to pliyeillkalSlkldlrnarten. He tel. Cut Innluit*ty due to thr torn of the paperr.rfntJtioo of Soviet

military TV capability of tba Scvirl Uamamilitarynertn regionalprobably (ar Mirpas*r> (he Intlijimt) ofptrn addition, (lie Soviel Union'seipqnd ib piownte and influmcehr.ii lubveition. liandestine mppoillcnii'tiii, and aidtftmiofiticmore likelyome to fruition in' 'radonhe bbuelaMtiUrr power- The AtastaM CM of Stall,USAF, aad the AnoorM ChaH of StaffIVsMitown! ot the Aran. brl*hin thr teat (urervli

whether ji fount likely to sain powerMWldle Mullein iliiici uiuld effectively rcbl Soviet rrllorUnieotutc of nmtnil over llirii oil



Ocean area. Over time (In level ofoperations there may abo increaseounter to growing Chineae militaryEwn in lhc nearer term, many aspects of Soviet lieliavior in the area are likely, in fact, to be as much an outgrowth of Soviet rivalry with China an with thr US.

n South Asia. India will remain the focal point ol Soviet policy, partly because of its valueounterweight to China. Ia the aftermalh of lhe war over Kaiiglad.-sh, the Soviets are more firmly established in India than ever before. Increasing quantities of mili-taiy equipment arc being provided withnow oil assistance to the Indian Navy, and the contacts between the military services of the two countries have been expanded. In addition, the Russians have, ui the past, probed India's readiness to provide facilities for the uw* of Soviet naval forces and aie likely to do so again. But in foreseeable circnm-stances, the Soviets will not be willing to take-on the burden of supporting India's economy much beyond tlie present laved. They will prefer not to link themselves so eioaery to tbe Indians politically tha* they entirety lose their frecdom of maneuveris other areaangladesh, Sri Lanka, and even Pakistan. On the Indian side, there, is noof fallinglient status. Indian policy places high priority on Soviet support and their interests are in many waysregardingthc Indians aim at national sell reliance, and to thc extent that Indian fears oi China and Pakistan are diminished, Soviet leverage is diminished They will be unwilling toa|or military role in (he Indian Ocean area to any outside power, lhe USSR or thc US. and providing facilities to the Russians for the support of military operations wouklagainst this policy Thus, there are limits

on how far Soviet-Indian intimacy will

xcept for ils concern to preserve its freedom of passage through tlse Malacca Strait, and its commercial tics with Malaysia and Siugapoii'. the USSR's interests inAsia have been centered on Indochina. In dealing with the situation growing out of the ceasefire in Vietnam, the Soviets are likely to be less cortcensed with the US'role there than with preventing China from establishing any kind of hegemony in Hanoi or elsewhere in Indochina. TheSino-Soviet contest for influence willspill over into the othet Southeast Asian states as well. Moscow will regard its navalhe areaeans olits hand in this contest for influence.

Soviets want toargerthe entiie rim of Aria One devicethis objective is the Asiansystem which they continue toThey evidently do not intend,this system to have an important military

would entail pledges by the

participants tu respect one another'sto foiugo the use of fotcc. and the like. None of the Asian states are showing enthusiasm for letting thc USSR Intrude in their security arrangements even to thisThey would care still leu for anything smackingilitary alliance.

Ana. especially, lheofChina hasampening effectinclination to encourage thuof radical or Communist regimes, arregional conflicts asthe extension of Sosiet influence.transformation of theuo power in Asiaturn, In*led to lower the level ol Icompetition in (he area.


America '

American countries lookingand fo* alternatives to the US aswill find the Russians ready tomilitary supply relationships arcthere wdl be more Soviet militarycoming and going As in otherareas. Soviet naval units mayappearances on flag showingfor example, in Chile or Pnu.of this kind would be useful tominh more for theirthan for any military significance,overwhelming US superiority in thisany event, thc Soviets would faceproblems in significantly enlargingpresence in Latin American watersprobably also question whetherto be derived were worthUS and arousing alarm in Latin

USSR's present assessment ofLatin America also argues for aone which aims more atanti-Aineiican nationalism than atrevolutionary upheaval. Thehad some success in keeping theup behind this gradualistno doubt, because the Cubans seeIn if. The survival of thoin Chile would give theconfidence in the correctness ofNonetheless, until the Soviets are

"Soviet activity tn list Caribbean and LaUn America h. ofased on Cuba. Cuba prosiuei communications, naval and air lavtlitpu for ihc Soviet! There hatradual incrr-*M' In live use of these fn>n recent yean, but the Sovietpfw-ixe in Ihc area remain* small and intei-niitteot. mailers are ducmied in lhe Anuria. There ii alio dtKuatioa iaf the qiiotwo nff Sonet baDtttknabauruieiuba.maibsx it which wdl. In addition, behc lorthconiinKSoviet Forres lor IniercxmtrnetiUl Attack."

convinced that the Allende government, or something like it. can last, ihey will nor want to tie themselves fully to its support or to commit substantial economic resource* to it. Tbcy could in fad see more promise in Hying lo cultivate military'nationalist governments of the Peruvian type rather than hybrid ami unpredictable left-Marxist regintcs of the Chilean kind.


he. USSR's most extensive militaiyinh.irau Africa is Inon the opposite coasts. Cuinea andThe pattern is familiar: in return for economic aid and military assistance in one form or another, thc Soviets havewhich facilitate their naval operations, in the Atlantic in one ease, the Indian Ocean in the other. Ebcwhere in Africa, the Soviets see the Chinese fairly busy in developingwith governments nnd liberationand Moscow wants lo check the spread of their influence. But the Russians do not now see any great promise inore active policy, and they are put off by theand unpredictability of AfricanAltogether, the Soviet stake In Africa Is relatively small, and no majiu Soviet push seams likely Nevertheless, thc USSR will probably continue willing, as occasion offers, to respond to requests for help from African governments, ns during the Nigerian civil war. or from lllveration movements, as they are now doing In the case of insurgent organizations operating against Portuguese African territories and Rhodesia.

future Trends: Variobles andn llie contest for influence over the next few years, in much of the Third World the Soviets will have one eye on the US and

one eye on the Chinese. (They tend toto the Chinese nti exaggerated capacity



doing damageheirhey will need to weigh whether the pursuit of particular objectives or the seizing ofopportunities will givesefulin (he three-sided rivalry. Ihey will also need to ask themselves whether Iheneeded for any particular effort in (he Third World might Ih- Iselter spentcr undertakings, domes! k and foreign Soviet political and military aims in Third World areas, (hough often complementary, are riot always entirely compatible.eriod of time, the deployment of additional forces will be determined by bodgctaiy constraints, naval and air building trends, and by overalland strategic considerations at least as much as by purely legional factors andin Ihe Third Worldhe availability of facilities) On this basis,emphasis will continue to be accorded to strategic nuclear forces and to generalforces on the USSR's two principal fronts on the Kurasian continent-ends in the development and deployment of Soviet forces do not point to an alteration of these priorities. This being so. (he USSR's ability to conduct military operations in distantsignificantaevrrely limited for some time to come.

evertheless, improvements arc being made in Soviet forces which will gise them an increased capability to operate in distant areas:

Soviet Navy will be able gradually to extend the range of its operatiuni and will piobably in time show itself in new waters, tbc South Pacific, for example.

aircraft carrier under coiiftlruclion will be able toariety of tasks and couldignificant contribution to Soviet nasal operations in Third World .uejv 'litis will not necessarily be itsapplication, however. There is, as

yd, no firm evidence on how the Soviets intend to use this ship."

naval corulrsiction under svay will bring in In service additionalnd Krivak-clast units whicherate in distant areas as partask group These ships are larger and better armed than other ships in their classes and have good seakeeping quail ties and endurance.

deploying and developing new forces, the Soviets will be working to solve their support and supply problems: by trying to obtain the use of additional shore facilities and, also, so as not to lie loo dependent on the whims ofy improving their means of afloat suppori.

they conlinuc to expand their air and sea transport, and as they maketo Ihcir tactical air. air defense, and naval forces, the Soviets svill be bet-tei equipped to deploy combatant toives in certain distant areas and to support them. Tliis capability will be enhanced if they gain greater access to naval and air facilities in Thud World countries

any Third World countries willto look lo the Soviets lor support,in the form of military aid- Soviet opportunities will he greatest in those coon-tries which feel threatened by regionalespecially when the latter are US friends or allies. But because of politicalin the Third World and tbeir own missteps, the Soviets svill have their "downs" as well ashey will have the problem of squaring theirInterestsupcrposs-er maneuvering in complex wayslobalthe more parochial in-

"Tlw (einbtlilrcsrise eairlei tir discuntml in


l Thitd World client states. Most Third World leaders understand what Soviet priorities are. But most of them are proud, sensitive, or simply willful, and some of them will react angrily against tlie Russians when thc inco<ripatibility of interests manifests itself.

owhere in the Third World are the Russians al present so firmly entrenched that they can be sure lhat leaders who ask "for advisors or allow them to use facilities might not at some point abruptly invite them lo leave. The USSR's clients will frequentlymore suppoit than Moscow will be will-ing to give. Tlic Soviets are alio bound to gel caught from Ume to time in thc crossfire of conflict ing interests within or between Third World countries. For all of these reasons, they will be vulnerable to the kinds of reverses they have suffered tn Indonesia. Sudan, and Egypt

oscow's approach will depend to some degree on whether the Soviet leadership isonfident mood and internally cohesive- The composition of thr ruling group in Moscow is very likely to undergoange in the next few yean II makes some difference for Sovietthe Third World andiI Is In the hands of aleader like Khrushchev or is being con-duclcd according to the lesseadership more inclined to activism in lhe Third World could come to powet. Bul eveneadership would find it difficult to ignore what the presenthas come lowhere critical Soviet interests arc not Involved, anof friction with thc West can serve thc USSR's internal economic needs andforeign policy objectives.

The United States-Soviet Interaction

t is now Soviet dogma that thc *cor-rclatioti of international forces" has il lifted in Ibe USSR's favor. Thii appraisal is useful to

the Soviets because il provides an ideological justification for detente, expresses genuineoptimism about Its world positionto that of the US. and camouflagesin tbe USSR's domestic andpositions. Both Its strengths andhave hel[>ed to move Moscowobcy which broadens the are* ofand interdependence between itself and the US. Obviously, this course is notyet there seem lo be strong impulses in the Soviet political process making for iu

n pursuing its polities toward various Third World areas. Moscow will exercise some care about encroaching on US interests in Third World areas. This will necessarilyatter of how the Soviets perceive those interests and of how the US represents its readiness to protect them. The Sovietswould be inclined to press theirharder in situations in which they did not expect to encounter serious US resistance.

thesignificant change in the Soviet-Cuban or in tbe US-Cubangradual increase of the Soviel mibtary presence of recent years is likely lo continue. But thewould almost cenainly test USbeforeubstantialtn their military presence, ln the rest of Latin America, ihey will also be sensitive to US reactions, but tbeis for some increase in miliiaryrelationships with selected countries and naval visits to show the flag.

Soviets do notonfrontation with thc US in the Middle Eest However, they no doubt believe thai the US does not ss-anl one either, and they have their own stake in the area as wellertain detcnent capabilily. in lhe form of their Mediterranean naval force. Hence,risis situation, Moscow's behavior svould


affected both by US readiness Io act In thatni situation and byt kit lat ions concerning the grtimml state of US-Soviet relations.

rtc increased anxiety lately expressed in the US about Soviet intentions in the PenM* Gull in tbe light of the energy crisis could lead tbe Soviets to conclude that there is more leverage to be hidtronger position in tlie area than they had previously supposed. They will, in any case, continue efforts to expand their influence in this area seeking, fb< example, to bind Iraq closer to theirand looking lor openings in the leaser Gulf states. Yet any Soviet push in the Persian Gulf which appeared to threaten Western access to oil wouldigh price tag in terms of Sovietwith the US as well as with other industrialized states and with the local power. These considerations are likely lo Inhibit conspicuous cnlargemeiil of Ihe Soviet miliiary presence in the Culf."

t may be that there will be in certain times andongruence of Soviet and US interests, in some cases because of Soviel apprehension about the growth of Chinese Influence. The USSR, for example, certainly

" The Atsiilant Ollef uf Staff, Intel liner-v. USAK, believes that, eveneriod of relmetl Soviet-Western relations, the Soviet Union will continueexploit every fcuable low-risk opportunity to attain id loon.inin itMteglc goal) in the Persian Cull area. Fundamental to thesehe ability lo induce, control, deny, or dbrupt Western and lapantae aceeax lo energy reaoutcca of the Culf.

Ufa! the McfcuQvw* ol sebverwoo. bnba-r. aod .Undettine support to radical ekftnetiti. tha SovMt Union will continue to pursue thesewithout theenlargement of iheir military pretence in

the Cull, 'llieit jut Chief of Stall. Intelligence.

USAF. Iielieveithe current oitiinato uiulertialei the Soviet threat lo Western interest! In thegion by timer nlr .ting on pictence or iWikv of military fotce.

believes, like Ihe US, that instability andon the Indian subconliucnt isis difficult, however, to see thu kindof

widespread or lasting and it certainly will not .mtoinahCHll) transfer from one area to ;in other. And even where some congruence may exist (he Soviets are not likely to foregoto obtain advantage over the US in particular situations, as during theIiido-Pakistani war. There is as yet also little reason to suppose lhal the Soviets are prepared lo limit their options by enteringagrcemenls with thedistinct from occasionally exercising tacil restrain) mutually with ihoarms control or lheof naval deployments in Third World areas, though Ihey have suggested lhe latter in broad and ambiguous terms. And US efforts to improve its own militaiy capabilities In certain Third World regions mayompetitive Soviet response.

the USSR's conduct in coming years is most apt to be characterized by opportunism tempered by prudence and an inclination to discrimm<tr between kinds of upportunities. Its military forces will be politically useful simplyymbol of Soviel power. They can be used for gunboat diplomacy ui some in-slanccs svith little risk. Moscow may alsothat where its military presencehe Mediterranean, US military action will be inhibited. In pursuing immc diate advantages, it could miscalculate the risks. Moreover, the Soviets could in rime conclude thai becauseeep and definitive change in the "correlation of lorces" between thc US and USSIl, there wills risk for them than now in direct military engagement in certain situations But unless ibis comes about. Moscow will not want lo ine ils forces in ways which would carry high risk of actual military encounter overtal to Ihc US.





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