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Digital Archive International History Declassified

February 01, 1980


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    "CPSU CC Politburo Decision," February 01, 1980, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, TsKhSD, f. 89, per. 34, dok. 4. Obtained by David Wolff and translated by M. Doctoroff.
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Proletariats of all countries, unite!
Communist Party of the Soviet Union. CENTRAL COMMITTEE

No. P182/2
To Comrades Brezhnev, Suslov, Andropov, Gromyko, Kirilenko,Pel'she, Ponomarev, Zimianin, Zamiatin, Rusakov

Extract from protocol No. 182 of the session of the Politburo of the CC CPSU of 1 February 1980

Re: Information for the Chairman of the Sotzintern [Socialist International] W. Brandt and the Chairman of the Social-Democratic Party of Finland, K. Sorsa.
1.Confirm the text of a telegram to the Soviet Ambassador to the FRG (Attachment 1).
2.Confirm the text of information for transmittal to K. Sorsa (Attachment 2).


Attachments to No. 300s

[attachment 1]

Re: Item 2, Protocol No.182
Attachment 1



Meet personally with W. Brandt, tell him that you are authorized to communicate certain views on the international situation that has developed, and expound on the following text.

Recently, especially in connection with decisions of the December session of the NATO Council, events have transpired that have sharply complicated the international situation.

It is possible that we do not share the same views on everything. One way or another, under present circumstances, precise and first hand information about assessments and intentions becomes especially necessary. The important thing is to find a common language on the issue that has already been the topic of our mutual preoccupation for many years - how to support the aim of strengthening international security.

Our general assessment of, and our position on, the current international situation, are known to you from the responses of Comrade L. I. Brezhnev to questions put forward by the newspaper "Pravda," published on January 13 of this year. That document reflects the principled position of the Central Committee of the CPSU, from which we shall proceed.

We would like to communicate to you our viewpoint on several concrete issues.

The "Carter Doctrine." The general assessment of it by the Soviet side is set forth in the leading article of the newspaper "Pravda" dated January 29 of this year. In our view, the platform articulated in the American President's speech, with which you are familiar, expresses in a concentrated form the course of the present American administration, which was not just adopted today, in connection with the events in Afghanistan. This course had already emerged a long time ago.

Fact No. One. At the May 1978 special session of the General Assembly of the United Nations in New York, the urgent issues relating to disarmament were discussed, in connection with which the comprehensive program of actions proposed by the Soviet Union occupied the center of attention.

However, during the very same period of days, in Washington, a session of the NATO Council at the highest level adopted a "long term program" of acceleration in armaments, calculated over a period of ten to fifteen years. At the same time, President Carter proclaimed a doctrine of global actions by NATO, expanding the "sphere of responsibility" of that military bloc into widening regions, significantly exceeding the framework stipulated in the agreement that created the North Atlantic Bloc. In the application of this plan, NATO has appropriated to itself theright to interfere militarily, particularly in Africa (recalling the events of Zaire). Finally, at the same time, American official powers for the first time openly proclaimed a tie between their interests, the interests of NATO, and the interests of the Chinese Government, which, as is known, blatantly undermines the policy of detente.

Fact No. Two. A little more than half a year ago, Carter signed the SALT II Agreement and spoke of its great significance for the cause of peace and security. However, in the last year, the American administration has essentially ruined the chances for ratification of the agreement.

Fact No. Three. In the autumn of this year, the American government has undertaken active measures to organize a provocative outcry concerning "Soviet forces in Cuba." This Cuban "mini-crisis" has been necessary in order to whip up military fears and further propagate the myth about a "Soviet threat," to complicate the process for ratification of SALT II and to justify new military measures aimed at the reinforcement of the hegemonic and imperialistic aspirations of the USA. This was a distinctive rehearsal for that which is presently being perpetrated in connection with the events in Afghanistan.

Fact No. Four. In October and November of last year, Comrade L. I. Brezhnev put forward a comprehensive program to advance the cause of military detente in Europe, called for immediate negotiations, and the Soviet Union also undertook unilateral steps, with which you are familiar, aimed at the lessening of military confrontation in Europe.

The USSR has adamantly called for the institution of negotiations for the reduction of intermediate range nuclear weapons in Europe prior to the adoption of a decision on new American missiles.

And what was the response of the USA? The American administration literally untied the hands of its confederates and set about in such a way that the December session of the NATO Council adopted a decision to produce and deploy in Western Europe new nuclear missile armaments, representing a substantial increase in the already existing American arms deployed at the frontline and aimed at the Soviet Union.

Fact No. Five. Immediately following the NATO session and despite the voices resonating there about intentions to strive for a reduction in the level of military confrontation in Europe, President Carter is pushing through Congress a five year program of automatic (that is, irrespective of any changes in the international situation) build-up in the arms race.

Fact No. Six. Already this year, citing the events in Afghanistan, President Carter is embarking upon full blown measures to curtail Soviet-American relations and even to apply so-called economic sanctions against the Soviet Union. The SALT II Agreement has been withdrawn from consideration and its ratification has been postponed for an indefinite period.

On the heels of this the "Carter Doctrine" is proclaimed.

In it is a summary of the measures undertaken by the American administration in recent time to escalate the arms race and inflame international tensions. We are talking about efforts to resurrect the doctrines from the days of the Cold War - "containment" and "rolling back" of Socialism, and "brinkmanship."

During meetings with the working group of the Sotzintern [Socialist International] in Moscow, the issue was discussed as to where the policy of President Carter is leading. Now, that is fully apparent. We are literally talking about the destruction of that which was achieved in the last ten years, accomplished by men of good will, including the Social Democrats.

Under these circumstances it is mandatory to reaffirm the policy of detente in international tensions. Great significance adheres in pronouncements to the effect that it is now important to "preserve cool heads and continue the process of negotiations," that "hysteria must not substitute for rational policy," and that "it is necessary to beware of ill-conceived and hypertrophied [sic] reactions which do not conform to the reality of events and which, in their entirety, could lead to an even worse situation."

Our position is to seriously, responsibly, and adamantly adhere to the principles of peaceful co-existence, and to everything positive in the development of normalized, mutually advantageous relations between governments that was achieved in the process of detente.

Events in Afghanistan. We would request you to examine them without the prejudice and hysteria characteristic of the Carter Administration.

We think it would be useful to bring the following information to your attention.

The facts establish that only a short time after the April revolution of 1978, an intense "undeclared war" was instigated against Afghanistan. Bands of mercenaries, financed with money from the CIA and Beijing, have literally terrorized the civilian population of that country. Pakistan has become the principal staging ground for this war. Here, more than twenty bases and fifty support points have been created, at which terrorist and military detachments are trained under the direction of American, Chinese, Pakistani and Egyptian instructors. In just the period between July 1978 until November 1979, the training of not less than 15,000 individuals was carried out there. They are equipped with American and Chinese weapons and then dispatched into the territory of Afghanistan. Moreover, they do not conceal their aim - to liquidate the April revolution, to reinstate the previous anti-popular order, to convert Afghanistan into a staging ground for aggression against the USSR, with which that country has a 2,000 kilometer border.

These plans were carried out by the previous leader of Afghanistan, H. Amin, sustained, as the facts attest, in large part by the CIA. Having entered into a contract with emigre leaders, he prepared a counter-revolutionary coup and carried out acts of repression against genuine patriots on an unprecedented scale. After seizing power, Amin physically destroyed H. M. Taraki, president of the Democratic Republic of Afghanistan, a veteran soldier against Afghan despotism. The government of Afghanistan, led by B. Karmal, turned once again to the Soviet Union for help, as Taraki had done.

Responding to the request of the Afghan government for help in the struggle against interventionist activity directed by Washington and Beijing, we acted in accordance with Article 4 of the Soviet-Afghan Treaty on Friendship, Neighborly Relations and Cooperation, concluded in 1978. Our assistance is also fully in accord with Article 51 of the United Nations Charter, providing for the right of any government to collective self-defense, that is, the right to appeal to any other country for help in defending against aggression. And in the case of Afghanistan - and we want to emphasize this once more - there was and continues to be external aggression, the form of which, as defined by the 29th Session of the U.N. General Assembly, consists of "the sending of armed bands, groups or regular forces or mercenaries by a government or in the name of a government, which carry out acts in the application of military force against another government."

In fulfillment of our treaty commitments, we were obligated to defend the national sovereignty of Afghanistan against external aggression. Moreover, we were unable to stand by idly, in view of the fact that the USA is attempting (with the assistance of China) to create a new and dangerous military-strategic staging ground on our southern border.

We would like to emphasize that our actions in no way affect the legitimate national interests of the United States or any other government. We have never had and do not have any expansionist plans in relation to Afghanistan, Iran, or Pakistan. We reject as a malicious lie any talk that our goal is to expand into the "third world" or toward sources of oil. As soon as the reasons have dissipated which caused the Afghan government to address us with a request for the dispatch of Soviet forces, they will be withdrawn from Afghanistan.

At the present time, the military intervention by Washington and Beijing in the affairs of Afghanistan has by no means come to a halt. Washington is openly accelerating the delivery of arms to the so-called insurgents. As illustrated by the visit of the minister of foreign affairs for the PRC, Huang Hua, Beijing does not lag behind Washington. Huang Hua assured the ringleader of the mercenaries that China will also henceforth render them assistance and support "without any limitations."

Washington and Beijing are also attempting to enlist several Arab states in their aggressive actions against Afghanistan (Egypt, Saudi Arabia and others). In this fashion, Washington and Beijing are specifically following a course designed to create a hotbed of international tension in the Middle East.

At the same time a profusion of unmitigated nonsense is being voiced about some kind of occupation by us in Afghanistan or about a usurpation of that country's sovereign rights by the Soviet Union. Every one who is in Afghanistan these days, including correspondents from the Western information services, acknowledges that circumstances are normalizing there. The new Afghan leadership, headed by Babrak Karmal, is pursuing a rational and sober policy, attempting to eliminate the remnants of the policies of H. Amin, and to reinstate democratic freedoms. All political detainees, representatives of the intelligentsia and the clergy have been released from prison. Relations are improving with the nomadic population, the Muslim clergy, although, speaking candidly, the situation in the southeast and eastern provinces, where terrorists are operating, remains tense.

The Afghan government has declared - and has confirmed by means of practical measures - its firm intention to pursue a policy of international peace and friendship and a policy of non-alignment. It is undertaking all measures toward the establishment of normalized relations with neighboring states based on principles of peaceful coexistence and non-interference in the internal affairs of one another. Such is the truth about Afghanistan.

Our position on the decisions of the December session of the NATO Council. You are already aware of our principal assessment of its results. Here are several additional observations.

As you are aware, the Soviet Union has warned more than once, that if NATO in December implements its decision, then it will knock the ground out from underneath negotiations and destroy their basis. Our agreement to negotiations in the face of the NATO decision would mean conducting them as to the reduction only of Soviet defensive capacity at the same time as the United States is carrying out, in full stride, preparations for new nuclear missile systems.

In the communique from the session of the NATO Council, the condition was laid down in the harshest of terms that negotiations shall be conducted only in regard to American and Soviet tactical nuclear intermediate land based missile systems. Excluded from these proposed "negotiations," and to be preserved inviolable, are all of the other means of front line deployment belonging to the USA, and the nuclear arsenals of other Western European countries, that is to say, everything in respect to which the Soviet intermediate range forces serve as a counterbalance. They are demanding of the Soviet Union a sharp reduction in its existing defensive forces with a simultaneous preservation of the entire existing powerful NATO nuclear potential, aimed against the USSR and its allies.

Comrade L. I. Brezhnev, in his recent interview with the newspaper Pravda, stated that "the present position of the NATO countries renders negotiations on this question impossible." At the same time, Comrade Brezhnev emphasized that "we are for negotiations, but honest and co-equal ones which conform to the principal of parity in security."

Our long term intentions

It is apparent that Carter and Brzezinski are gambling on the prospect of intimidating the USSR, on the isolation of our country, and on the creation of difficulties wherever possible. This policy is doomed to failure, because it is impossible to intimidate the USSR or to shake its determination.

In this complicated situation, the leadership of the CPSU does not intend to adopt a policy of "fighting fire with fire." We shall henceforth exhibit a maximum degree of cool-headedness and reasonable judgment. We shall do everything possible to prevent the Carter administration from drawing us into confrontation and undermining detente. We shall not engage, as the American administration is doing, in impulsive acts which can only intensify the situation and play into the hands of the proponents of the "Cold War."

The American side, forgetting the elementary principals of restraint and prudence, is conducting a policy leading to the destruction of all the inter-governmental ties which were constructed with such difficulty during the past years. Moreover, and this can no longer be doubted, the Carter administration is striving to spoil the relations of the West European countries with the Soviet Union, and is demanding support from them for its dangerous line, i.e., that they subject themselves to that policy which Washington considers necessary.

A great deal that is positive and constructive could be achieved in connection with the meetings that have taken place in Madrid by the conference on issues of European security and cooperation, as well as on the path to implementation of the proposal of the Warsaw Pact countries concerning the conduct of a conference on military detente and disarmament.

In a word, despite all the gravity of the developing international situation, we believe that there is a possibility of bringing to a halt the dangerous development toward which the present administration in Washington is pushing.

The entirety of these circumstances demands joint efforts from all who value the cause of peace and detente.

In Moscow, the meetings with you in the Soviet Union are fondly recalled, and it is believed that they were useful.
If Mr. Brandt should request a text, deliver it to him, translated into German.

[a similar telegram was approved to be sent to Sorsa (not printed)--ed.]