242. Briefing Memorandum From the Director of the Bureau of Intelligence and Research (Saunders) to Secretary of State Kissinger1

Soviet Military Aid to Angola

You asked how Soviet military aid to Angola compares with Soviet aid to all of sub-Saharan Africa. Recognizing that any figures of this kind are soft, the conclusions are:

—We estimate Soviet military deliveries to the MPLA in Angola in 1975 at about $160 million, including Soviet reimbursement to the Cubans.

—This is the equivalent of 85 percent of Soviet military aid to all the rest of sub-Saharan Africa in that year.

—It is more than the total amount of Soviet economic aid extended to sub-Saharan Africa in the past five years.

—It is six times as much as the amount of Soviet economic assistance actually used by all of sub-Saharan Africa in 1975.

Soviet Military Assistance to Angola

—Soviet military arms deliveries to Angola in 1975 are estimated to have an equivalent US value of $93 million; the estimated cost of Soviet advisers believed to be present in Angola accounts for $2 million more; and the transportation costs of the Soviet arms lift during the last seven months are valued at $2 million. Thus, total Soviet assistance to Angola in 1975 may be said to have totaled approximately $97 million.

Assuming that the Soviets are reimbursing the Cubans for the military personnel and equipment that the latter have sent to Angola, another estimated $63 million should perhaps be added to the Soviet outlays above. We estimate that this $63 million comprises $39 million for equipment, $20 million for military personnel, and $4 million for transportation.

—Thus, the total Soviet expenditure for Angola in 1975, assuming that the Soviets are reimbursing the Cubans for both manpower and equipment, is $160 million.

Military Deliveries to Sub-Saharan Africa

—Soviet military deliveries to all of sub-Saharan Africa except Angola in 1975 totaled roughly $188 million. This was a three-fold increase over 1974, when Soviet aid was $68 million, and an even larger increase [Page 904] over 1972 and 1973, when Soviet aid was $35 million each year. The bulk of the 1975 deliveries went to Somalia, Nigeria, and Uganda.

—Military deliveries to sub-Saharan Africa from other Communist sources in 1975 totaled $31 million. (It may be noted that this total fluctuates—i.e., in 1972 and 1974, it ran only about $8 million a year.)

—Military deliveries to sub-Saharan Africa from non-Communist countries other than the United States in 1974, latest year for which such data are available, amounted to $115.4 million.

Soviet Economic Aid to Sub-Saharan Africa (No Foreign Dissem)

Details of Soviet economic aid to sub-Saharan Africa for the past five years are as follows:

Extensions Drawdowns
1975 $ 73.8 million (preliminary) $ 27.0 million (preliminary)
1974 34.7 35.0
1973 9.0 43.0
1972 3.6 46.0
1971 27.6 40.0
$ 148.7 $ 191.0

Note: Virtually all the above figures are extremely soft. They are preliminary and subject to considerable change. Prices are estimated in terms of what equipment and manpower would cost in the US.

  1. Source: National Archives, RG 59, Lot File 81D286, Records of the Office of the Counselor, Box 4, Angola. Secret. Drafted by Nepier V. Smith in INR/PMT.