251. Summary of Conclusions of a Special Coordination Committee Meeting1


  • SCC Meeting on Soviet Forces in Afghanistan (S)


  • State
  • Secretary Cyrus Vance
  • Deputy Secretary Warren Christopher
  • Defense
  • Secretary Harold Brown
  • Deputy Secretary W. Graham Claytor
  • CIA
  • Deputy Director Frank Carlucci
  • JCS
  • Admiral Thomas Hayward
  • Lt. General John Pustay
  • White House
  • Zbigniew Brzezinski
  • David Aaron
  • NSC
  • William E. Odom
  • Marshall Brement
[Page 726]

CIA reported that about 40,000 Soviet troops are now in Afghanistan. They are encountering some resistance. The Afghan army is shrinking rapidly through desertions. The rebel tribes will retreat in the mountains and continue resistance, probably increasing in the spring. Thus, the insurgency will continue, and Soviet forces will be the main source of the counterinsurgency effort. (S)

[1 paragraph (2½ lines) not declassified]

It was asserted in the discussion that the degree of resistance in Afghanistan will depend upon two factors: [2½ lines not declassified]

[1 paragraph (4 lines) not declassified]

Aid to Pakistan—Pakistan’s ability to support the insurgency and to resist Soviet pressures, it was agreed, will be highly dependent on U.S. assistance and commitment. It was argued that the small support we can now promise Pakistan will be more confusing than reassuring because of the publicity about changing U.S. policy. It is essential, therefore, to address the non-proliferation issue with the Congress and find a satisfactory way to make an exception in the Pakistani case. It was agreed that this matter should be discussed at the National Security Council meeting today and a decision taken on whether to seek an amendment to the law or to seek Pakistani assurances sufficient to certify Pakistan’s intentions on nuclear proliferation to the Congress. (S)

Christopher’s Trip to the NACWarren Christopher gave a brief report on his impressions from the NAC meeting. He added that Japanese participation would be useful. He also argued that we need a standing mechanism for coordinating any joint actions with the Allies which may be taken in response to the Soviet intervention in Afghanistan. States are more likely to support actions as a group than alone without the reassuring presence of other states in the group. (S)

NSC on the larger Strategic Questions Posed by Soviet Intervention in Afghanistan—It was agreed to seek a meeting of the NSC later this week to discuss the larger regional issues arising from Soviet actions in Afghanistan as well as issues concerning our Allies in Europe and Asia. (S)

  1. Source: Carter Library, National Security Affairs, Brzezinski Material, General Odom File, Box 1, Afghanistan: 1–2/80. Secret; Sensitive. The meeting took place in the White House Situation Room.