Created: 6/1/1967

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Soviet Strategy and Intentions in the Mediterranean Basin





The following intelligence orrjonizolions participotad in Iho preparation of this esUmate:

Ihe Control Intelligence Afjenty and iho mielliganie oryon-iu'iom ol ihe Depots men'* ol Slole ond Oelenie. ond ihe NSA


Vice Adm. Rvloi I. Taylor. Depu'yntelligence Mr.enr.ey.or ih* Direcior oi Inmllige.ue ond Research. Depart-menl of Stole

ll. Gen.F. Carroll. Director, Detenu tniefligenco Agency Ll. Gen. Morihall S. Carter, the Direcior. Noiionoi Securily Agency


Dr. Charles H. Rekhordi, lorilleneral Manage'. Atomic Energy Com-million and Mr. William O. C'Cflor. lor iho AmSsIov Direcior, federol bureau ol Invettlgonon. the tubien being ovitide olidiciion.


moierial contalni Information oflaciing within lhe meaning ol lhe eipionage l> minion or revelation of which In

Notional Oe'eme of the linked Stolei. Ihe tram-ne* to dW unauihoriied perton it prohibited.




This estimate has been under piepamlion for some months, and respond*ci|ucstreatment of long-term Soviet plans and intentions in areas lui rounding thc Mediterranean and Hed Sea Basins The paper does not deal, therefore, with the immediate tactical considerations which underlie Soviet polky in the current Middle East crisis, though Soviet conduct has been compatible with the longer-range view of Soviet aims described here








Mediterranean and Red Sea Areas 4

Africa 6

C Creece, Turkey, and Cyprus 6

Relations With European Stales Having Mediterranean


Soviet Naval Presence B








the last decade or so. lhe USSR has gradually built upof major influence in lhc areas surrounding iheRed Sea Basins. As the role and influence ol live Westernhaveumber of states in the region havelooked to the USSR as tlieir preferred great powerand economic aid, expanding trade, extensiveand anti-Western propaganda have been.the principalof Soviet policy. In addition, Soviet influence amonghas been facilitated by Moscow's consistent support foragainst Israel

policy aims at exploiting radical nationalist andpolitical forces in order to deny the region to Westernof everyeconomic, and military. Itbroad strategy conception which currently guides Sovietthe Third World, that is, thai an alliance can bethe "socialist camp"road front of revolutionaryconstrict and weaken tbe world position of the Westernthis Soviet perspective, the Mediterranean and Red Seatheir historic importance as areas where Western interestsengaged and through which influence can he exercisedin Africa and Asia.

the last several years, the USSR has maintained aforce in tlie Mediterraneanontinuing basis. Withsize and capabilities, it poses no serious threat to US orforces. The primary purpose of thc Soviet naval presenceloss military than political-psychological; to convey that

the Mediterranean is not an "Americann thc event of general hostilities, of course, this force would seek to atiack US aircraft carriers.

D. Wc do not believe that thc Soviets aim to acquire militaryor assets of their own in thc atea which would be significant in connectioneneral war. Should they eventuallyolicy of involvement in limited conflicts ihroughout the region, thoy would need to acquire capabilitiesind they do not now possess, and they would presumably abo want air and naval facilities at some points within the Mediterranean Basin itself. They would probably not think it politically feasible or desirable, however, to acquire basesime when widespread anticolonialist pressures arc persuading the Western Powers to eliminate their own bases in the area.

as thc Sovietsilitary interest in the area,likely for the foreseeable future to have two aspects. Theto influence thc political disposition of governments in such ato make the area as inhospitable as possible to militarythe West, and in particular, to the deployment of USThe second is to establish relations with governmentsit possible to use them as proxies for actions directedinterests and against regimes unfriendly to the Soviet Bloc.

number and variety of conflict situations which arcdevelop within the area, and between forces there andwill give thc Soviets numerous openings in the yearsapplyingolicy of intervention by proxy. Since thewish to avoid becoming directly involved in militaryby its political clients, however, it will try to keepthe Western Powers and the states of the region at anot critical level. In such an atmosphere Soviet politicalwill be maximized and actual risks minimized.


Political and power relationships in tlic Mediterranean anil adjacent areas have been Iransformcd" In the postwar period thc Westerncolonial powers lacked the slrenglh and thc will to restore the dominant position they had long held. The movement for national independence was successful throughout the region and brought new political forces into play. The USajor factor in consequence of its postwar roleorld power, ils aid programs, piivatc investments, and naval presence. And, since the, tbc USSR has extended its activities and inBucnce to thc areaonsiderable scale.

With the failure of its pressures on Iran and Turkey and the collapse of 1hc Communist effort in Greece in the early postwar years, the USSR's Interest in the Mediterranean area had appeared lo decline. Slalin gave priority to consolidating Communist power in Eastern and Central Europe, Sovietwere strained by the effort of postwar recovery, and Moscow evidently underestimated the scope and significance of the movements against Western colonialism in Asia and Africa. After Stalin's death, however, the Sovietradically altered its view of developments inAfro-Asian world.the limited prospects of native Communists, the USSR abandoned the policy of supporting only ideological clients. It began to associate itself with newly independent governments and nationalist movements, offering support and cooperation on tlie basisommon interest in "anti-imperialist policies.

In the area discussed in this paper, the new Soviet approach found its Gist significant opportunity5 when the Soviet Bloc began its activityupplier of arms to certain states. Since then thc USSR and other Bloc states have elaborated their ties with most of the countries in the Mediterranean and areas adjacent to it. The main reliance has been On conventional instruments ofand economic aid. trade, an active diplomacy including numerous exchanges of ceremonial visits, cooperation in the UN, andSubversive techniques and intelligence operations are. of course,part of the modus operandi ol Soviet policy, though in these areas they are now being applied primarily to advance the USSR's relations with local governments rather than to win power for Communisthe result has been (bat Ihe USSR has become an important factor in theajor influence on governments and political forces there. This paper examines the extent and significance of these developments, the aims of Soviet policy ia thc area, and thc nature of future threats to Western interests which may result.

1 Thender discuss ton io this paper are Indicated on the map opposite page 1.

' See, "Soviet and Chinese CorrunurJit Strategy and Tactics in North Africa, the Middle bast, and SouthatedECRET. Tbe disunionf the instruments of Soviet policy remains valid.


(hi: past dozen yean, (hc influence of lhc USSH ami it* allies hasfell in tho ntcaariety of ways. Probably lhe mmi importantof policy has been thc supplying of military aid. but there hasa significant quantity of economic aid, tiade with the Soviet Blocsubstantially, and In recent years Soviet military power has beenthe regular maintenanceodest naval force in the Mediterranean.1

- And Soviet diplomacy and propaganda have attempted to establish anin world politic* between the "socialist camp" and slates of thc region on the basisommon opposition to "Western unpeiialiim."

A. Eastern Mediterranean and Red Sea Areas

The USSR's initial move into this area was5 million aimswith Egypt, announced innder Ihe cover of an Egyptian-Czech deal. Since then, the UAR, Syria, Iraq, and Yemen have received1 billion worth of military equipment from llie Soviet Union and its East European allies. In Yemen, the Soviets initially dealt with adespot; the other three recipients have been leftwing governments dominated by military men. All four recipients were hostile to UK and US defense pacts and bases in the region. Today, the military forces of the UAR, Syria, and Yemen are equipped almost entirely with Communist arms. Only Iraq continues to make significant purchases from Western sources- Inagreements. Moscow has supplied mote and more up-to-date equipment; countries in this area have usually been the first non-Communist recipients of such Soviet materiel. Extensive training both in thc USSR and in recipient countries has been an integral part of Soviet military assistance programs.

Economic relations have been less one-sided. In the regionhole, however, the USSR has succeeded inignificant slutrerading area long dominated by European and American commercial interests. The: recipients of military aid have also gotten the vast bulk of Soviet and East European economic aid to the area. Yet, even in the UAR, economic assistance from Western sources has until recently outweighed that from the USSR and Communist countries combined. With thc recent cessation of USid and cutbacks from European sources in consequence of Cairo's failure to pay its debts, the USSR has become the major source of foreign aid to the UAR. Trade with Communist countries increased from lessf the UAR's toul trade4 to nearlyercent

In Iraq, hard currency oil receipts have contributed far more to national revenues than has Soviet economic aid. In anti-Western Syria, thc USSR has been one of the chief sources of economic aid; some Si'tO million has beenhalf0assive dam and irrigation project on the Euphrates, plusillion from Eastern Europe. In Yemen, Soviet aid has far

"Table* ilwwtn* military snd economic aid supplied to itatni of llwappear in tlie Annex.


outwciglicd (Jul from other wunw, althoughignificanteingthrough the UAH.

8 Middle Eastern eountiies have been eager to engage in programs which conserve, water ntnl improve ngi ten It tire; the USSR has laken onnn High Dam project in Egypt and the Euphrates project in Syria and has also assistedide variety of Irrigation and land reclamation schemes. It has undertaken major railroad building in Iraq and Syria, and port construction or maritime projects in Yemen, the UAR. and bait. It has encouraged niheries nnd assisted in setting up food processing plants in llie UAR, Sudan, and Yemen, as welliner south in Somalia White the USSR has by no means replaced the Waal in development activity, its role in this field lias helped to change attitudes. Such 'normal" activity has resulted In acceptance of the USSResponsible partner In development programs, and has helped to diminish earlier fears that Moscow's only aim was to impose communism.

olitical relations between the Eastern Arab states and the Soviet Union vary widely. At one end of the spectrum, Saudi Arabia has no relations with the USSR; Sudan. Jordan, Lebanon, and Kuwait have modest tradingSudanmall amount of economic aid. Iraq seeks toiddle course between the USSR and the West Syria, under its present extreme Baathist leaders, has moved fairly close to tbe USSR; it tolerates tbe localParty, has at least one Communist in the Cabinet, and is seeking to establish party-to-party relations with thc CPSU and tbe Yugoslav League of Communists. It is vigorously anti-US on most foreign policy issues and appears content toarge part of ils trade and virtually all of its developmentin Soviet or otlier Communist hands. Support for Arab danm against Israel hasrincipal device employed by the Soviets to spread theiramong all the Arabs.'

losest in trillions with tlie Soviet Union isAll. which thc USSR categorize*revolutionary democracy" in the process of building socialism. The CPSU has encouraged the Ccwimunbt Party ia Egypt to dissolve Itself as an overt organization and has advised its members to join the sole legalorganization, the Arab Socialist Union. Egyptian foreign policies,in tbc Arab slates and Africa, arc largely congruent with those of the USSR; both countries wish toeduction of Western military and economic positions. There are. however, certain bfnits to the UAR's Intimacy with the Soviet Union because of efforts by each side to use tbe other for its ownNasser retains his independence and his dreams of Egyptian leadership in pan-Arabia, and evidently realizes that Moscow's long-range plans aro not identical with his own. Perhaps more important. Cairo continues to earn most of the foreign exchange it needs to run H* industry and buy its food fromthe Suez Canal, and cottonit stillestern companies to find and produce its oil.

Soviet attitude toward the AraMmeh dispute- is discussed In Section IV of, Tlie Arab-Israeli Dispute: CurrentatedECRET.

n tho soulhcrn portion nl lhe llrxl Sen Basin, Yemen and SomaliaIi.iI relations with the USSK, wliich ii Iheir major source of military und economic assistance Opportunities have lieenfavorable for Ihe Sovicis in neighboring counlries. Ethiopia and Saudi Arabia are closely lied lo Ihe US. and (lie Sudan is largely uniotcrcvlnl in aflairs beyond its own borders. In Yemen, the USSB provided substantial military assistance to thc archaic regime of the Imannd continued ihis wiih thc Yemeni Bcpublic under UAH domination. Soviet economic and military aid has helped to sustain lite Egyptian military effort in Yemen. Thc Soviels support Egyptian efforts to.nunritish inBucnce from South Arabia. This backing is in line wiih general Soviel ladies uf pursuing Soviet aims through local forces alreadylo an anti-Western course. Soviet activities in Somalia also reflectsponsorship of anti-Western forces, but this enterprise hasertain cost By supporting and arming Somalia, the Soviets have aroused fear and hostility in Ethiopia and Kenya, the two most important East African states, aid offers to them do not appear to have offset these effects.1

B. North Africa

IZ Opportunity has not knocked as often for the Soviets ia North Africa as it has farther east. The rulers of Libya. Morocco, and Tunisia have not seen Oieir intcrcsts served by dose ties with tho USSR and have confined relations to limited .radc and aid. Several years ago Moroccoquadron of fighter aircraft fiom Ibe USSR, and II has recently cootractcd forillion worth of spares and ammunition. Both it and Tunisia have agreed to lake moderato amounts of economic aid from Communist countries. Bul the regimes of all llirce countries maintain close political and economic ties wtth the US and France or Britain.

lgeria has maintained fairly close relations with the USSR since it gained its independence from Franceelations cooledime after Ben Bellas removal, but hrs successor. Boumedienc, although departing from Ben Bella's conspicuously pro-Soviet domestic and foreign policy line, wanted to retain Soviet military and economic aid. The USSR decided to adapt, and subsequently moved ahead with miliiary aid. which now totalslie Soviets have developed extensive access to the Algerian military establishment through their aid ond training program, although ihey do not nowignificant inBucnce fn internal economic or political affairs. More recenily, there have been signs thai the Algerian regime Is teucwing its support fot nalional revolutionary movements abroad, especially in Africa. The Soviets will, of course, encourage this.

C. Greece, Turkey, and Cyprus

lie Soviet task in developing relations with these countries differs in many ways from thai in dealing withrab states. As NATO member*,

Soviel IntereMi andInl Sea are also discussed inraipecu In the Horn ofatedprilECRET.



Cicuce and Turkey are allied wiih Ihe West, to which ihey look lor military aid and support nnd for economic assistance. Turkey con troll tho mm route Irom I'.-i.ern coast lo Ihe Mediterranean and has been hostile lo tlieexpansion ol Russian power. In line with Moscow's "Good Neighbor Policy" directed toward nations along its southern borders, lhc Soviet Union has embarkedersistent and patient efiort lo improve relations with Turkey. The SovieU have recentlymall program of economic assistance and made efforts to exploit growing Turkish distaste for the large US miliiary pres-once. Allhough Ibe Turkish Communist movement isewly emergentrticulating .indArrierican feelings with irtcreasing impact.

rior to thcoup, Sovicl relations with Greece had improved. Tlie USSR and other Communist states had been accommodating in arranging barter deals for Creek agricultural products for which there was no ready market Thc Crook Communist front paity (EDA)loc ofeats outn Parliament. But (lie April coup brought intoilitary regime with strong ant>-Communist feelings. Soviet propaganda labels it as fascist and the creature of the US. For llie present, the Soviets will have no direct dealings wiih Greece. They will hope that internal opposition to the military regime will promote cooperation of thc txm-Communist left with the Crookiiuation which could give Soviet policy new opportiraities if and when the military regime collapses.

yprus has offered much greater opportunities for Soviel intrusion than either of its parent countries. The Soviets moved lo support Archbishopin his efforts to assert Creek Cypriot hegemony over the bland4 by providing sizable amounts of arms. Bul this policy interfered with Soviet efforts to improve its relations with Turkey, and, for tho past year or so, the USSR hasore even-handed line between Creek and Turkishon Cyprus. This has damaged Ihe position of the large CypriotParty, and cooled Soviet state relations with Cyprus as well. Now, Soviet policy toward Cyprus revolves around Ihree basic aims: to maintain Cyprusovereign state, to secure thc withdrawal of British bmrs from tbe island, and simultaneously to keep opea the possibility of advancing relations with both Greece and Turkey. Progress in the attainment of these goals would inerode NATO's position in Ihc eastern Mediterranean.

oviet Relations With European Slates Having Mediterraneanhe existence of two Communist slates on Ihe Mediterranean, Albania and Yugoslavia, does not at present have much significance for Soviet activities in lhe area.olitical change in Albania could some day restore that country's relations with the USSR, however, and give the Soviets renewed access to naval facilities. Political trends in Yugoslavia Indicate that Belgrade will coniinue lo pursue iTKlependenl policies, despite inlermiltent efforts in recent years to improve relations with Moscow, There is. ofertainbetween Yugoslav and Soviet influence on other states of the region, since

Belgrade alto talks the language of revolutionary racialism and anti iui|>criiilism and shares Soviet views on many international Issues. Nevertheless, Yugoslavia lias no policy of cooperation with the USSR to increase the latter's influence in thc Mediterranean It would prefer, in fad. to see both Soviet and American influence reduced. Generally, Belgrade would like the states of the region to follow the pnnciples of nonalignmenl, in which case it would erpocl toore prominent role itself.


E. The Soviet Novol Presence

he Soviet Union first undertook modest naval operations inith thc establishmentase at Vlone Bay on tho Albanian coast of the Adriatic, lhe USSR wasorce ofW" class submarines in Mediterranean waters. When Soviet-Albanianforced the Soviets to withdraw from the basehe USSRf these submarines with the Albanians and withdrew the rest to Soviet ports. Eicept for occasional submarine patrols aod cruisesLI NTydrographic vessel,upporting oiler, the Soviet Naval presence in the Mediterranean virtually disappeared.

Im Sovietsisible presence in (lie Mediterranean4 with (he dispatchruiser-destroyer force from tbcHeel and the institution of virtually continuous submarine patrols.of operations doubled5 and again0orceuideda modified KOTLIN classscorts,and an oceangoing rescueactive in Mediterranean waters.last two years, normal Soviel deployment in thc Mediterranean hasabouturface shipsajormallrvessels,uppori ships) andubmarines-are drawn from nil three Weslern Beets.

Soviet "combined naval squadron- in Ihe Mediterranean hasin heavy tactical exercise schedules. Surface forces have spenttheir tunc at anchor in one of five offshore anchorages (in the Culfoff the Tunisian coast, in the vicinity of Malta, in the Gulf ofthc Libyan coast, in the vicinity of Kithira Island, and off the easternCrete) andbird of tlieir time in routine transits to and fromand in surveillance of NATO operations. The remaining time hasin operations of which we know Hide but which we believe areship exercises. There appears to have been little underwayreplenishment and very few ASW exercises. Usually, roulbship tacticalhave 'been conducted only during transits between anchorage areas;known about Soviet submarine operations. The presence of Sovietin the Mediterranean affords them practice in Mediterraneanopportunities for surveillance of Sixth Fleet and olher NATOships and ASW exercises undoubtedly provide the Sovietsinformation on undersea conditions, water temperature gradient',propagation characteristics, wbich would be of particular use fnto develop ways to combat Polaris.

For the present, the Soviets almost certainly do not consider theirsquadron capable of conducting extended operations against thc Sixth Fleet, although they would seek, at the outset of general hostilities, to attack its aircraft carriers. Other units of the Sixth Fleet would also beas targets of opportunity. Neither the Sonet surface units nor the current level of submarine deployments, however,hreat to US Polaris operations. Dependent as it is on vulnerable mobile logistic support, and lacking adequate air defense, the Soviet surface squadron could not long operate against thc greatly superior forces with which it shares thc Mediterranean.

In recent years, Soviet naval detachments in the Mediterranean have included at least one port call in each cruise. Since tbe resurgence of Soviet naval activityussian ships have called at ports in Egypt six times, in Yugoslavia and in Ethiopia three times, in Algeria twice, and in France once. These port calls and the fact that Soviet anchorages are frequently no mare thanr IS miles from the coasts of Tunisia. Malta, and Creocc have made the

Soviel naval piesence in ihe Mediterranean quile visible Thc primary purpose of this presence is apparently less military than psychological and political. Tbe mere presence of Soviet cornbatanU is intended to convey that the Medi-terranean is not an "Americanriends and foes alike are expected to understand that the USSB intends toactor there.

here have been rumors from time lo time that the Soviets were bar* gaining for luisc rights in lhe area, usually with the Egyptians. Wc think it would be incompatible with Ihc Soviet polilical line to takeole which the former colonial powers have given up. Nevertheless, the possession by their polilical clients of facilities to which the Soviets might in certain oontingcories wish to have access is noad thai Soviet planners welcome The equipping of forces in the area with Soviet armsimilarut we do not believe Ihese are providediew to being stockpiled for eventual use by Soviet forces.


2G. It Is clear from the scale and charadcr of the activities described above that tlie Soviets have come to regard the Mediterranean Basin as of majorto their policy. It has not been so clear that these activities were gov-emed by any systematic slrategic conception, apart from the general proposition that the area offered rxflsidcrab'c opportunities for damaging Western Interests.

In part, the growth of Soviet presence and activity in the area hasesponse to forces operating within the region; it has not been aU Soviet design. Thc main pattern of events there in the postwar period has been the struggle of nationalist forces in many countries to expel the Western colonial powers or to reduce their influence- These elements were interested in llie lackingreat power not previously involved In the area. Thc USSR emerged from World War IItature which made It eligible for this role, and, In addition, itower which appeared to have "anti-imperialist" credentials. Thus the initial Soviet entry inlo the area probably came about as much by Invitation as by Moscow's own initiative-

The opportunity offered by the Egyptian interest in Soviet arms in tbcrobably helped to precipitate the important shift which was then developing in Soviet policy. What was involvedholly new appraisal of the changes taking place In thc Third World, developments which the Soviets had been slow to understand. Wltereas they had assumed that newlyItourgeok" government would remain under Ihe effective domination of the colonial powers, they now discovered that there were opportunities for injecting their own influence. Thoy also came to recognize that the tides of nationalism running in the Third Worldrevrrlutiooaiy" potential They concludedolicy of associating thc Bloc with the new governments and

'Tbe quentioo ot* Soviet readiness to wpply UM UAR wuh baDbbc tauiAei or audearIs dUotMred la parapiphf NIEhe Arab-Iwaeli Dirpute; CurrentatedprilECTET.

Ihc luitkmahsl movementlatform of "national liberation struggle"way of inciearing pressure on the Western Powers. The sensitive issuesin Ihcbe used to generate divisionsamong the states of lhc Western Alliance. The Soviets assumed thatregimes in the newly independent stales, in part because of Iheirwith die Bloc, would Inevitably takeore radical character."chose tbe socialistheir contllct with thc Western Powersthis in turn would mean denial to the latter of access toareas and resource*.

he Soviet entry into lhe Mediterranean area, where the anticoVornil struggle was theniaiiicuUrly active phase, wasanifestationeneral policy concept intended to be applied lo the whole of the Third World. Whenuccessors were first seized of Ihis vision, they evidendy believed that returns on this policy would be prompt in coming. The Suez war. the Algerian rebellion, the overthrow of tbe monarchy in Iraq probahly seemed to them to indicate an acceleration of the historical process they saw developing. In recent years, they have evidently concluded that this process would be more prolonged and compbeated than tbey hadut tbe broad concept they developed in theemains central to their policy today.

Within the framework of Soviet Third World pcJicy. there appears toeopolitical emphasis. In recentarge proportion of Soviet effort and resources has been applied within the arc extending from the westernto South Asia. Other parts of thc underdeveloped world seem to be of lesser concern. Obviously this results in part from the way opportunities have developed, but it probably owes something alsoraditional ftuxsiin preoccupation with these regionsphere of special interest. The approach of the Soviet leaders to the role of great powers in world politics is in some ways not greatly different from that of their Czarist predecessors, who also believed that these regions were of prime strategic importance

Military considerations certainly figure in the Soviet desire to contest Ihe Western position in the area, although these probably do not have much to do with planning for the contingency of general war. No doubt the Soviets would like to deny the Mediterranean to use by US forces. Propaganda pressures against their presence are mounted from time to tone; recently. Breihnevointed demand for "the complete withdrawal of the Sixth Fleet" But the Soviets must realize that there is little real prospect of effecting such dental by political means.

or do we think that live Soviets aim to acquire military positions or assets of their own which could lie significant In connectioneneral war. Such assets would not enable them to strike with much greater effect at strategic targets critical to them than they can now. An attempt to acquire afor successful preemptive attack oo US strike forces in the area would assume atery extensive ASW effort which would have to be based mainly in the Mediterranean itself. cn if wc assumed that the Soviets were designing

Ihcir forOMirst strike, capability, which wc do not,apability in tbc Meditcitannin would remain (or some time well beyond their means, both technical and political Finally, the Soviet conception of theeneral war might take, il il came, does not seem to include otended land or seain (lie Mediterranean Uaaiiihole.

Soviets may be thinking of their possible involvement in limitedin tbe region, ln principle tlie policy of attempting to ditplacecould present such contingencies Or local conflicts might occurtbc Soviets would wish to support their clients af some fairly highrisk short of actual intervention Their activities may point to anto operate in thc Mediterranean in Ihis way.

theyolicy of intervention in local conflicts, tbehave to acquire capabilities which they do not now possess. Theywar forcesind which could operate effectively in any part ofnot contiguous to the USSR. They wouldifting of presenton use of the Dardanellesooperative regime in Turkey, neitherseems possible for the foreseeable future. They would presumablyand naval facilities at some points in the Mediterranean Basin it unlikely that even states friendlyhe USSR would wish toavailable, but it would be enremely awkward poliucally for theacquire them. To do so would cotniromiae the "anti-imperialist"which Soviet policy operates and would have negative repercussionsthe Third World.

nsofar as the Sovietsilitary interest in the area, this seems likely for the foreseeable future to have two aspects. The first is to influence the |solitical diijxrtition of governments inay as to make the area asas possible to military cooperation with the West, and in particular, to thc deployment of US mUitary power. The second is to establish relations with governments which make it possible to use them as proxies for actionsagainst Western interests and against regimes unfriendly to the Soviet Bloc Military and economic aid and the USSR's political backingroat power arc tho primary instruments ofolicy. The relationship developed with thc UAR over tho last dozen years probably indicates the pattern which the Soviets would like to develop generally in the ara.

hought of as an area in which and tlirough which to pursue Sovietby proxy, the Mediterranean region retains its historic characterorld crossroads. It gives access to Africa and has links with Asia. Thenationalist movement has been strong there, and its poliucal leaders have been in the forefront of cflorts to ochies'e united action against "Weslernand economiche poUtica] climate is ooe in which tbe Soviets skilli at forming fronts for subversive, political, and propaganda actions work to good effect Thus the Soviets probably regard tbe region as not only

ol interest In itself but alsoseful base for support of their generaln-


in- Soviets have surely given (hnught to ways in which they might turn the West's Still considerable dependence on the regions oil supplies to their account, llul at the present stage, Mpuatsoru to preempt orutput show Irltle promise. Tbe Bloc steles cannotubstitute market. To beosition lo manage tbc distnlmfion of oil. aod perhaps Io deny it to the Wesl. wouldegree of Soviet control over producing countries which the USSR no longer exercises even in Eastern Europe. It seems certain that, whatever political forces hold power in these countries, they will continue to bc extremely jealous of Ihe disposal of ihese national assets. Probably Ihe most Ihc Soviets expeel to be able to do is to encourage and exploit politically the chronic frictions between producing counlries and Western oil interests. This might be facilitated as they buy more oil and gas in the area themselves, which they apparently intend to do in order to meet Eastern Europe's growingEven modest purchases would permit them to expand their commercial presence and perhaps to provide military goods to additional Middle East counlries.

As indicated, Soviet trade with Ihe area has developed, though unevenly. It has helped to establish relations of mutual interest with certain stales, placed personnel on the scene, and facilitated thc exercise of political influence. But generally, apart from occasional transactions toew trading partnerin dealing with the USSR, economic criteria are applied to this trade. The Soviets apparently recognize that it cannot be used for direct political leverage. Moreover, thc interests of almost all countries of tha area willlo argue for maintain ing extensive trading rcUrionships with the West.

In sum. the Soviets see the region as strategicallyeconomically,thc long-term contest with the Western Powers to which they are committed. Their primary aim for thc foreseeable future will be, in (he degree possible, to deny (he area politically to (he West, and into the US. This emphasis Sows from the nature of the means available to them. To the extent that states anti political forces within tho region can be induced to look to Moscow for political direction, the Western position will be increasingly constricted. And alignment with the Soviet Bloc of forces in this area would work to Soviet advantage in ihe struggle for the Third Worldhole.


can bc no doubl that Ihe USSR has in the lasl dozen yearsprogress in (he direction of the aims described above. From aof ^significant influence it hasajor factor in tbe Is now widely accepted by radically disposed political leadersresponsible airy in the vaguely defined "anti-imperialist" cause. Overperiod, the US has tended more and more to become identified asof this cause andupporter of the old order and thethat went with it- Thus the Soviets, operating withinfavorable lo their cause, have largely succeeded in making die process

of transition todevelopment in this area an aspect of (hc broader East-West power contest. It Is thu fact which will greatly influence the kind of threats to Weatern interests whuji seem certain to develop in the year* ahead.

l it important toclear about the nature of the role the Soviet* wdl be playing Tliey will stimulate and assist anil-Western nationalist forces which would be piesent in any case. Generally, (hoy do not control these forces and have little prospect of doing so. Thus far (hey have felt it necessary to be very circumspect about using military and economic aid programs subvrrsivery to establish such control. There are no Communist Parties large enough or effective enough to have hope of sewing power in ihesr own right Communists arein nationalist movements and fronts, and no doubt have penetratedbut llieir role is not directing Obviously if the West suffers serious reverses to its interests or area* arc denied to it, there wiD be little comfort in saying that this was owing to Communistrather than Communist-controlled nationalist forces. There willeal andong-term threat in the alliance of Soviet policy with nationalist forces in the area.

Nevertheless, the distinction between control anditally important to the Soviets themselves, and will set certain limits to tbc kind of actions and the extent of tho risks they will undertake in pursuing their aims. It will mean in particular thai Moscow will be pnident about backing cheats who may in its view be inclined to adventurism in employing violence against local opponents or the Western Powers. The Soviets will not make defense arrangements which would bind them to take military action in the area. And they will sign no blank checks for economic support. In general, they wiD not enter upon commitments and risks which they cannot themselves control.

A further limitation on future Soviet actions in the area is the heavyol European as distinct from Americanain feature of Soviet policy at present Is the effort to dissolve Hie security ties represented by the Atlantic Alliance. Actions which conveyed that the USSR was not merely pursuing politJcal-ecorvomic advantageormal manner, but was bent on establishing real domination in the Mediterranean region svouldalarm the European states. The effect would probably be toense of common peril within the Atlantic Alhance.Q


Considerations of thiseally challenging naval

ce in the Mediterranean. Tlie Soviets arc aware that their present course

of extending their political Influence and acting against Western interests by proxy offers tlie best means of advancing their aims without provoking high risks or compromising their policies in Europe.

ven within its present limitations, however, Soviel policy it likely to find numeious opportunities In the Mediterranean and its adjacent areas in thc years attend. Instability and conflict, abo involving Western interests, will

ertile Geld forong time. Them are several categories of cotiBict situation* which will engage Soviet attntlion: (a) political Struggles witlun states between radical and traditional forces, (b) decolonization problems; (c) intra-icgional warfare anting from ethnic, boundary, and ideological conflicts; (d) elastic; of interest between regional stales and the Western Powr-rs Not all of the conflict situations of these various kinds will bo exploitable in the Sovietnd some may even be awkward for the USSH. Soviet actions willbe marked by much cautious lacking and opportunism in so complex an area

truggles between political factions within stales will usually be the easiest for thc SovieU lo handle. Tlicir support will generally be given lo Ihe radical nationalist left against traditional forces. Success for Ihc former is likely toro-Soviet and anti-Western regime and toolitical climate more favorable to Ihe activity of local Communists. Any Dumber of countrses in tbc region are candidatesrocess of internal radicaliration sooner or laler. Syria has been inhase in recent years. Iraq and Algeria were earlier, but have since shown more stability. Such developments would not be surprising in countries as varied as Jordan, Ethiopia, Malta, and perhaps even in Greece.

hc Soviets are not likely to be capable of pre- ipitating suchthemselves, bul Iheir growing presence in the area is itself anlo radical forces. Wc do not believe that the Soviets will alter their policy of avoiding overt involvement in such internal political conflicts, but whenever the outcome favors an enlargement of their influence they are likely to move in on the opportunity- Tbc extent of tbe commitment they would maleew radical or nationalist regime anywhere in tbc area would depend on Iheir judgment of its viability and of Ihe difficully of drsengaging IfThe pattern of Soviet relations with Syria and with Somalia suggests the course Ihey are likely lo follow in such cases.

ew colonies remain in the region. They Include Frenchihe Spanish territories in northwest Africa, and lhe British protectorates in Soulh Arabia and lhe Persian Culf. Such remnants of colonalismeg for anlicolonialist propaganda, bul they generally have the disadvantage from the Soviet poinl of view that they inspire violent intraregional disputes over the right of succession. Thc Soviets are likely loiscreetfrom (he sponsorship of concrete solutions, while offering pious butbacking to the cause of 'national liberation"

The Soviets appear content for tlie present to have Cairo in the forefront of the continuing anlicolonialist struggles in South Arabia and thc Persian Culf. Bul ihey also cultivate olher movemenis directed againsi Western interest, such as the i'hist Party In Syria They will probably continue to lend support to Nasser with propaganda and subversive activity because tbcy see in bis brand of Arabeans of energizing revolutionary forces in the Arab worldhole. Moscow is not now actively opposing the concept of Arab


unily under Nasser's leadership, presumably because it sees little likelihood thai any stich scheme could materialize in thc foreseeable future. We believe that it remains opposed to tbe idea in principle, because It would be more advantageous for the USSR to deal separatelyumber of small states rather thaningle hegemony. In the Maghreb, however, where Cairo's pretensions have also reached, Moscow will continue actively, if not openly, to discourage the extension of Nasser's influence

The greater part of the turbulence and conflict in the Mediterranean area in Ibe years ahead will arise from intraregional disputes over boundaries, ethnic pioblems, religions and ideologies. Some of the states likely to be involved have been recipients of Moscow's aid and political tacking. The. Western Powers will generally be trying to avoid direct involvement, and will in fact be using tbeir influence to contain violence- Thc principal conflict situations of this category include those between Arabs and Israelis, Moroccans andEthiopians aad Somabs, Saudis and Egyptians, and Creeks and Turks, though there isotential for others to develop.

Soviet propaganda will attempt to exploit such conflicts in the customary anticolonialist framework, but Moscow's policies will necessarily be marked try much opportunism.eneral principle, tbe Soviets will consider that tbeir interests would not be served if quarrels of this kind broke out into openSome wouldisk of direct confrontation between the USSR and Ihe West. In almost all (the Arab-Israeli conflict is probably anhould the Sovietshoice between antagonists, they would run the risk that tbeir general influence in tbe area would suffer. Usually, therefore, Moscow will use its influence to hold such cx)nfllcts below the level of large-scale violence, thc situation which often permits it to work the political ground on both sides of the dispute. Only in the rare case of this kind, perhaps toard choice or toeally dangerous conflict, would Moscow be willing to play the role of mediator. It would avoidole in open conjunction with the Western Powers, however.

s indicated, the Arab-Israeli case is probably an exception amongconflicts andifferent Soviet attitude. Moscow lias clearly decided that it has more to gain by taking sides, probably because it sees the Arabs, in consequence of their numbers and revolutionary nationalism, as the best long-term bet. If the Arabs were to make gains in tlieir struggle against Israel, and the Soviets had supported them, the USSR's influence would obviouslyubstantial advance throughout thc Arab world. Nor do tlie Soviets have any basic objection to an Arab resort io violence against Israel, but wc do not believe that they would themselves lend direct military support to the Arabs, and they would not run high risks of an East-West conflict for the sake of the Arab cause.

he conflicts of interest between the Western Powers and certain 5tales of tbe area seem unlikely in tho future to lead to actual hostilities. The end of colonialism probably means that tlie Western states will prefer to rely on lesser

sanction* to pioloct theit interests. Even in gross caves of aggression they will prohahlyN formula rather than resort to unilateral intervenlion. Thc Soviets will make every effort, Imwever. to keep fears of "imperialist aggression" alive, an easy undertaking in the feverish political climate of much of thr region. Where this propaganda line is implausible, tlie myths of "neocolonialist restoration" by more insidious means will often serve as wcIL Broadly, tbe Soviets will try to keep tensions between the Western Bowers and the states of tbe regionigh but not critical level. In such an atmosphere, Soviet political opportunities will be marimized and actual risks minimized.

e do not now foresee the time when the Soviet attitudes, aims, and methods described in this paper will change. This could result onlyrofound alteration in the Soviet approach to East-West relations, or alternatively,radual subilization ol the troubled region surrounding theand Bed Sea Basins. Thc former Is not in sight and lhe process of political-economic development within those regions seems likely lo be prolonged.








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hii document wai diiiemmoted by ilm Central Intelligence Agency. Thit <opy it lor ih* InfOTnalion and ine ol ihe recipient ond ot pe'ioni irdo* han oban AddVionalenvnokan nay be outhorited by in* iollowingilhin lhal' reipeetive deportmenti.

o. Oneclo' of Inlell^tere ond ftaieatch, Ic the Deportmenl ol Stole

Defense Intefrgcoce Agency, for the Office of lbc Secretary of

DefiKv* and in* oroanuonon el Ihe ten" Chief* of

Chief ol Stall lor ImelKaeree, Deportment ol lhe Army, for th*

Ddpo'lmenl of the Army

Chief ol Ha vol Operation. (Intdlioencel, lor the Department'be

Awiitonl Chief ofntelligence. USAF. lor the Deportment ol tha Air For Of

iicciOf o( Irtell-gence, AEC. lor llie Atomic Energy CommlivonuMoM Devdor. FH. lorFederal Bureau ol laveitigolton h. Director of NSA, forNotional Security Agency

i. Direclor ol Central Reference. CIA. (or any oilier or Agency

Ihii document may be retained, or deMroyed by burning in accordance with applicable teeunty reovlotiom. or returned fo me Central tateUigene* Agency by arrangement wiih the Office ol Central Reference, OA.

When thit dacumenl I* diweminoled oveoaat, ibe oveiieoi recipient) moy letoin ireriod not inof one year. At th* end ol tho period, the document should ether be defrayed, returnedhe forwarding gpeecy. or per-mmion ihould be requeued of the forwo'ding agency lo retain it in accordance wWi2


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Original document.

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