24. Letter From Director of Central Intelligence Turner to the President’s Assistant for National Security Affairs (Brzezinski)1

Dear Zbig:

Attached is a memorandum2 in response to your query about Soviet activity in Mali and how it might be countered.3

The paper in general concludes that the Soviet airfield construction program will enhance the USSR’s capability to provide air logistical support for military operations in Angola or southern Africa. The significant increase in Soviet military assistance to Mali over the past year, particularly in aircraft sales and airfield construction, would tend to ensure some type of Soviet access to Mali’s airfields.

In view of Mali’s current reliance on Soviet military aid, and the mutual interest of these two governments in supporting liberation movements in southern Africa, it appears doubtful that Mali would be responsive to a Western suggestion to deny the Soviets access to these facilities without a very positive Western offer of military assistance.

If you have additional questions on this subject, please let us know.

Yours sincerely,

Stansfield Turner 4
  1. Source: Carter Library, National Security Affairs, Brzezinski Material, Country File, Box 48, Mali 1/77–1/81. Secret; [handling restriction not declassified].
  2. Not printed.
  3. Not found.
  4. Turner signed “Stan” above his typed signature.