168. Memorandum From Director of Central Intelligence Turner to President Carter, Vice President Mondale, Secretary of State Vance, Secretary of Defense Brown, and the President’s Assistant for National Security Affairs (Brzezinski)1
The attached paper sets forth our preliminary views of Soviet options and constraints in Southwest Asia following the invasion of Afghanistan. Its focus is on the major actors in the region from the Soviet perspective; it does not deal explicitly with possible US policies or how those might influence Soviet positions.
- Source: Carter Library, Donated Historical Material, Mondale Papers, Box 42, Foreign Countries—Afghanistan, 1980. Secret; Noforn.↩
- Turner signed “Stan Turner” above his typed signature.↩
- Secret; Noforn. In an undated, unsigned memorandum to Carter, Brzezinski summarized the CIA memorandum and wrote: “it is thoughtfully argued and deserves your attention.” Still, Brzezinski noted, it “does not examine the possibility the Soviets may move more forcefully with their military power against Iran, and possibly Pakistan, in the near future.” Brzezinski surmised that a combination of a settlement of the Iran hostage crisis (which, in his view, would increase Iranian anti-Soviet sentiment) and the perception of a growing U.S. military presence in the region could convince the Soviet leadership to make preemptive moves “while the balance is more in their favor.” (Carter Library, National Security Affairs, Brzezinski Material, Country File, Box 82, USSR: 1/16–31/80)↩
- Intelligence cable 5264, prepared in the Department of Defense, January 16, reported that “the Pakistanis are concerned the Soviets may soon initiate military action against Afghan refugee camps located along their common border with Afghanistan. The USSR claimed Soviet intervention in Afghanistan is warranted because of the continuing Pakistani training and support of Afghan insurgents.” The cable also reported that the number of Afghan refugees in Pakistan had risen to 400,000 over the past year and could “easily” reach one million in response to Soviet military action. (Carter Library, National Security Affairs, Brzezinski Material, Cables File, Box 4, Afghanistan: 1/15/80)↩
- In a January 18 memorandum to Brzezinski, Odom laid out three strategies for dealing with a Soviet invasion of Iran, none of them “very attractive.” The memorandum is printed in Foreign Relations, 1977–1980, vol. VI, Soviet Union, Document 258.↩