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January 4, 2017
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April 14, 2008
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April 22, 1983
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Approved For Release 2008/04/14: CIA-RDP85M00364R001602920007-8 Oh PLGE ~,q 22 APPjL 1983 Regroup to Check the Soviet Thrust By 1S`1LLiAM J.-CASEY The effects of American defeats in Viet- nam and Iran undermined the confidence of L.S. friends and allies in the Third World (and Europe and. Japan) and en- i sured that the Soviet Union would see in the Third World its principal foreign-policy opportunities for years to come. The Soviets themselves suffered set- ` backs in the 1960s and early '70s in the Third World. They suffered one setback af- te%'another in Africa. They saw their hopes in Smith America dashed by the overthrow of Salvador Allende in Chile and they were ' bumiliaiingly expelled from Egypt in 1972. When the? turned again to the Third World in 1977. it *'as with a strategy. designed to minimize the chance .of -a -Tepetition of } those setbacks. The strategy,-enriched and strengthened over several years, is realis-. tic and calculated to exploit effectively ! both events and opportunities. First. shown: the way by Castro in An- gola, the Soviets helped him consolidate the radical power of the MPLA there, cre- ating a government dependent on Soviet and Cuban support for survival. This was followed by the dispatch of thousands of Cuban troops to Ethiopia. Unlike Sadat, neither the MPLA nor Mengistu could af- ford to order the Cubans and Soviets out. In the new strategy, the principal. obvious role in Third World countries would be played by another Third World state-Libya. Vietnam, Nicaragua. No su- perpower would be seen to be guiding or, arming or directing the radical forces at work; the host government would be main- tained by foreign advisers .and troops who I couldn't be expelled in the event of a change of heart. Additionally, it was a'. strategy that made (and makes) any di- rect response by the West appear neo-im- perialistic. Second, when radical governments : came to power, the Soviets directly or through; their surrogates helped establish an internal-security structure to ensure that any challenge from within would be. stamped out. There would be no more Al- lendes. Sometimes it worked, as in Ethio- pia and Angola, and sometimes there was not enough time, as in Jamaica. Third. the Soviets supplemented these tactics with their more traditional offer- ings. such as technical and political train- ing in the U.S.S.R., the rapid supply of weapons and the use of propaganda and : subversion to support friends or help desta- bilize unfriendly governments. Launching Its Own Forces Fourth, where a vacuum existed or the costs and risks were low, the U.S.S.R. 'Proved still willing to launch its own forces at targets on its .periphery-Afghanistan, and perhaps elsewhere when and if cir- ?cumstances seem right. Fifth, the Soviets advised new radical !`regimes to mute their revolutionary rheto- ' ric and to try to keep their links to-Western commercial resources, -foreign assistance and international financial institutions. Moscow's ambitions did not cloud recogni- 'tiorr that it could not afford more economic dependents such as Cuba and Vietnam. . This :strategy. has worked. A Soviet Un- ion that 'had found itself in 1972 without imajor 'successes-except for She survival rof the Castro regime-and with many fail- ures in the Third World after two decades of effort could count the following achieve- ments by the end of 1982: ? Victory in Vietnam-and Hanoi's con- solidation of power in all of Indochina- - New radical regimes in Ethiopia, An- gola and Nicaragua. ? Possession of Afghanistan, a Russian goal for over a century. - Cuban, control of Grenada (and new military facilities there for support of fur they subversion). ? An active insurgency in El Salvador, where U.S. support of the elected govern- ment has rekindled old Vietnam memo- s:-:'Ties. -- rNicaraguan support of revolutionary ? violence in Honduran and Guatemala, as -well as El Salvador. ?? U.S. expulsion from Iran, which, though not through any Soviet action, rep- resented a major strategic gain for the -`'U.S.S.R. ? Rapid progress toward Cuban control of Suriname, the first breakthrough on the South American continent. . ..? Pro-Western regimes under. siege in -Chad and the Sudan. Beyond - these successes, the Soviets could. see opportunities, actual or potential, -Any effort to counter the Soviets in the Third World will fail unless Con- gress is a party to the execu- twe s thinking and plan- ning--all along the way. to achieve their objectives in many other places. The U.S. needs a realistic counter-strat- egy. Many components of that strategy also are familiar, though they must be ap- proached and linked in new ways. The measures needed to address the Soviet challenge in the Third World have the ad- ditional appeal that they represent also a sensible American approach to the Third. World whether or not the U.S.S.R. is in- volved : 1. We have too often neglected our' Mends and neutrals in Africa, the Middle East, Latin America and. Asia until they became a problem or were threatened by developments we considered hostile to our interests. The Third World now buys 40-7& of our exports; that alone is reason enough to pay greater attention to-the problems of the less developed countries (LDCs) before we confront coups. insurgencies or instabil- ?tty. The priority of the Third World in our overall foreign policy must be raised and sustained. The executive branch. must do more to educate the public, the Congress and Third World governments about Soviet strategy in the LDCs generally. 2. The U.S. must establish priorities in major commitments. President Nixon wanted to rely on key regional states as' bulwarks for stability and peace. There are some dangers in this approach (Iran was to be the key state in the Persian Gulf), but it is generally sensible. If our early help fails to prevent serious trouble. for which countries are we prepared-to put .our chips on the table? We should choose ahead of time and in consultation with key members of committees of Congress so that their support at crucial moments is more likely. Great losing battles for for- eign military sales and economic assis- tance, played out on the world stage and at critical times, represent devastating set- backs for the U.S. with ramifications going far beyond the affected country. We Need a`Constant Policy 3. We must be prepared to demand firmly but tactfully and privately that our friends observe certa n standards of be- havior with regard to basic human rights. It is required by our own principles and es- sential to political support in the U.S. Moreover., we have to be willing to talk straight to those we would help about is- sues they must address to block foreign ex- ploitation of their problems-issues such as land reform, corruption and the like. We need to show how the Soviets have ex- ploited such vulnerabilities elsewhere to good effect to make clear we aren't . preaching out of cultural arrogance but- are making recommendations Jtiaee Qp ex- perience. Approved For Release 2008/04/14: CIA-RDP85M00364R001602920007-8 Approved For Release 2008/04/14: CIA-RDP85M00364R001602920007-8 ? We need to be ready to help our - friends defend themselves. We can train., them in counterinsurgency tactics and up- grade their conmu_-ucations, mobility and intelligence sen-ices. We need changes in -o:r foreign-military-sales laws to permit the U.S. to provide arms more quickly. We also need to change our military procure- ment policies so as to have stocks of cer- tain basic kinds of weapons more readily. available. 5. We must find a way to mobilize and.. use our greatest asset in the Third World-- private business. Few in the Third World wish to adopt the Soviet economic system..- Neither we nor the Soviets can offer unlim- ited or even large-scale economic assist Lance to the LDCs. Investment is the key to- ' economic success or at - least survival in the Third World and 'we, -our NATO allies and Japan need to develop a common. strategy to - promote .investment in the Third World. The Soviets are helpless to:' compete with private capital in.these coun tries. 6. Finally: the 'executive -branch needs ,' to collaborate more closely jn the-setting of ~' strategy with .key members and commit:=.* tees of Congress. Too often opportunities to counter the Soviets have been lost by- clashes between the two branches. The in=, dependent stand of Congress is a fact of:' life, and any effort to counter the Soviets.' in the Third World will fail unless Congress. is a party to the executive's thinking .and_ planning-all along -the way. Support for a Third World policy must be bipartisan and,' stable. Without a sustained, constant policy ap- plied over a number of years, we cannot counter the relentless pressure of the. U.S.S.R. in the Third.World. It is past time for the American government-executive- and Congress-to take the Soviet challenge in the Third World seriously and to develop a broad, integrated strategy for countering it. It will be the.principal U.S.-Soviet bat4:. tleground for many years. to come. Mr. Casey is director of the Central In- .lellioence Agency. 2 Approved For Release 2008/04/14: CIA-RDP85M00364R001602920007-8