205. Special National Intelligence Estimate Prepared in the Central Intelligence Agency1


[Omitted here are the title pages and the table of contents.]



The revolutionary regime in South Yemen (PDRY) would like to bring down the conservative neighboring regimes of Saudi Arabia, Oman, North Yemen (the YAR) and others in the Persian Gulf area. The conservatives, in turn, consider PDRY a threat and would like to eliminate it. But none of these states—on either side—is now able to achieve its aim by military means nor is any likely to become so. Their leaders appreciate the limitations on their capabilities.

We cannot, however, rule out the possibility that Aden’s leaders might attack the YAR. Having somewhat stronger forces, they would probably win some initial successes, but do not have the logistic capability to hold gains. The war would quickly become defensive and tribal, and would probably be prolonged and indecisive.

Additional modest programs of arms supplies from friendly states and training in their use would improve the YAR’s defensive capabilities, though this would take some time.

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PDRY’s support of subversion and insurgency in the YAR has created problems there, but is not a serious threat.

To the best of our knowledge, PDRY has made no serious efforts at subversion in Saudi Arabia, nor does it have the assets to achieve much success if it tried.

PDRY’s backing of the Dhufar rebels in Oman does constitute a threat over time to the Sultan’s regime. Our knowledge of the rebels and of their parent group, PFLOAG, is limited, but we judge that there is little PDRY’s immediate neighbors can do to compel Aden to reduce its support of the Oman insurgency.

The USSR is PDRY’s best foreign friend and its principal arms supplier, though Aden is not a puppet of Moscow. The YAR armed forces are for the most part equipped with Soviet arms, although since the YAR-Saudi rapprochement in 1970, Soviet shipments of arms and spare parts to the YAR have practically ceased. Recent Soviet agreement to supply limited matériel to the YAR, however, indicates that the USSR is attempting to maintain some presence in the YAR rather than to promote open hostilities between the two Yemens.

[Omitted here is the remainder of the estimate.]

  1. Summary: The CIA assessed PDRY efforts to subvert the Yemen Arab Republic and Oman.

    Source: Central Intelligence Agency, NIC Files, Job 79R01012A, Box 466, Folder 4. Secret. The following intelligence organizations participated in the preparation of the estimate: the Central Intelligence Agency and the intelligence organizations of the Departments of State and Defense, the NSA, and the Treasury. All USIB members concurred, except for the representative of the FBI, who abstained on the grounds that the subject was outside his jurisdiction.