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Digital Archive International History Declassified

1989

CONCEPT PAPER ON MILITARY COOPERATION WITH FOREIGN (NON-SOCIALIST) COUNTRIES FOR THE PERIOD 1990-1995

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    This concept paper addresses the need to base decisions about the nature of military cooperation on the Soviet Union’s long term goal of ending the arms race and moving toward disarmament. It also details how this decision-making should look in specific developing countries in which the Soviet Union has an interest.
    "Concept Paper on Military Cooperation with Foreign (Non-Socialist) Countries for the Period 1990-1995," 1989, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, Vitalii Leonidovich Kataev Papers, Box 12-25, Hoover Institution Archives . https://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/134406
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CONCEPT PAPER

On military cooperation with foreign (non-Socialist) countries for the period 1990-1995

1. The main criterion determining the necessity and nature of military cooperation is to consider the principle of its accordance in the first order with the basic foreign policy tasks of the USSR in consideration of our country's economic interests. In this plan, military cooperation is called for in order to enable the strengthening of the USSR's security and that of its allies and friends in the context of its overall approach to international security and efforts to end the arms race and towards disarmament, the political regulation of regional conflicts, and the full growing significance of the global problems faced by all of humanity. Consequently, such cooperation must not cause further tension and the arms race, especially its new dimensions in regions where aid is being sent. It must not lead to the militarization of the politics and economics of recipient countries, thereby destroying the prospect of their stable development and friendly relations with the USSR. It also must not provide a basis for a distorted interpretation of our activities in the international arena.

It is necessary to have a balanced combination of military and economic cooperation (where possible), so that it appears complete, and not based on an element of our relations with allied countries. In the long term, this means directing efforts toward the reorientation of our cooperation from the military sphere. It is necessary to more fully consider the concrete policies of countries with whom military cooperation takes place, and its accordance with the interests of reinforcing general (and regional) peace and security, and also to consider the development of conditions and significance of the region for the USSR.

2. In determining the amount and direction of military aid, we presume the principle of reasonable sufficiency for the defense of our allied countries, and not to increase their potential for aggressive, offensive actions.

It is necessary to focus long-term efforts on limiting military aid to foreign countries and delivery of offensive weapons to them, first and foremost in areas where international tensions are high, where possible on a mutual basis with the West. For this purpose we need to activate efforts to develop international agreements at the UN embracing all arms deliveries, and directed toward limiting their export up to and including full cessation of such deliveries. As a first step, we must aim to achieve an agreement with the USA and other leading arms producers on the demonstration of mutual restraint in the event of potential conflicts, including those of a domestic nature. In doing so, however, we must aim to avoid allowing a vacuum to form in the sphere of delivering our special equipment to the countries most important for us that would be filled by other suppliers, particularly Western ones.

It is best to avoid delivering or renting to developing countries weapons with great destructive power and capability for non-selective operation, particularly ballistic missiles, as well as forms of weapons that could impact the strategic situation in the region. The transfer of manufacturing technology for such weapons is not be considered.

3. We consider the economic profitability of military cooperation not only from the point of view of direct income, but also considering all national economic expenses and consequences connected with cooperation. For the purpose of increasing the economic effectiveness of military-technical cooperation, efforts should be directed toward decreasing the volume of military aid offered for free or on a discounted basis. Military cooperation should be guided first and foremost by political criteria, in the areas where military cooperation gives us real currency revenue. We must approach the question of limiting the amount of cooperation also in consideration of this important factor.

It is necessary to begin taking efforts to ensure that the credit extended by the USSR is reflexive, and that various forms of regulating debts are more widely applied. We must conduct efforts to reduce the extension of credit for the purchase of our special equipment to countries that do not fulfill the conditions for the clearing of debt.

4. It is necessary to perfect the coordination of activities by the governments of the Warsaw Pact in the area of military cooperation with foreign countries, and develop unified approaches and agreement on efforts by the USSR state in providing military aid to allied countries.

5. It is necessary to reorient military cooperation based on criteria of quality, and to increase its effectiveness in all areas. We must perfect the forms and methods of providing military aid and more fully consider local conditions and capabilities of allied countries, and react using operative capabilities to problems and failures that arise in cooperation.

Efforts should be made so that intergovernmental documents include a mutual obligation to swiftly and fully agree on recommendations to construct and prepare national armed forces, and to master the operation and repair of arms and equipment supplied by the USSR.

It is necessary to consider the possibility of reconsidering agreements on military cooperation with countries that do not fulfill their obligations or that use special equipment we have supplied them for purposes other than defense, or for purposes that threaten international or regional security. We must rigorously enforce the requirement that no special equipment is to be transferred without our agreement to a third country (including national liberation organizations), nor is it to be used for the creation of offensive weapon systems.

6. We must introduce more transparency and openness in the area of our military cooperation in consideration of the security interests of the USSR, and its allies and friends. We must consider the course of military cooperation with foreign countries and its accordance with the political, military, and economic interests of the Soviet Union in the Commissions of the USSR's Supreme Soviet with the interpretation of these questions in print. We must perfect the justified basis of our military cooperation, including the development and passage of necessary legislation. We must take measures to register all international arms supplies with the UN.

7. The priority of countries receiving military aid is to determine, based on the content of their foreign policy and its accordance with the principles of the new political scheme, the level of our allied relations with them, the development of political, economic, and other ties, our interests in the region, and other considerations laid out in this concept paper, with the understanding that the determination of long-term priorities is extremely difficult because of the fluid nature of international conditions and the domestic situation in individual countries.

As of today, the priority countries in foreign military cooperation are: India, Syria, Ethiopia, Algeria, and Libya. Satisfying the needs of these countries takes first-order precedence.

It is necessary to secure a basic partner in cooperation with India for the Soviet Union. In relations with Ethiopia and Libya, it is presumed our future cooperation with them must be determined strictly in accordance with the criteria established in this concept paper.

Military cooperation with the remaining countries is to be guided by the following:

Afghanistan is to be provided the necessary military assistance in consideration of the military and political conditions in this country.

After the regulation of the Iran-Iraq conflict, we must assume the desirability of achieving international agreements about the limitation of supplying arms to these countries. Military aid is not to be given to Iraq while excluding Iran from the same aid.

In relations with the PDRY [People's Democratic Republic of Yemen] and the YAR [Yemen Arabic Republic], military aid to both countries is to be balanced and limited, based on the necessity of preserving friendly relations between them and a military balance.

In preserving friendly relations with Angola and Mozambique, efforts are to be made to achieve political regulation of the conflicts in South Africa. Accordingly, the Soviet Union's expenditures on providing them military assistance are to be eventually decreased.

The question of providing aid to Nicaragua in cooperation with Cuba is to be decided in such a way that it does not lead to an increase of tension in the region.

In relations with Peru, Finland, and Nigeria, we must support increasing interest among the leadership of these countries in developing military cooperation with the USSR, while preserving our positions in these countries.

In military cooperation with smaller countries (Benin, Botswana, Burundi, Burkina Faso, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Congo, Cape Verde, Madagascar, Male, the Seychelles, San Tome and Principe, Tanzania, and Uganda), we are guided by the CPSU Central Committee Resolution (P 81/14) from August 25, according to which we must take efforts to decrease military aid, providing it primarily to countries that allow the USSR Armed Forces access to their air bases and ports.

In the area of military technical cooperation with Kuwait, Jordan, the UAE, the economic expedience of such cooperation in consideration of our policy in the region

Special equipment is to be supplied to national liberation movements in every concrete case in consideration of the conditions as they unfold.

8. In the area of supplying special equipment, efforts are to be made to decrease their physical volume in consideration of the necessity of finding agreement with the West on decreasing arms deliveries and trade.

India, Syria, Algeria, Libya, and Iraq are to be supplied with modern weapons models and military equipment even as deliveries of offensive weapons are limited.

Angola, Ethiopia, the PDRY, the YAR, Nicaragua, and Mozambique are to be supplied with defensive weapons, primarily to replace older models and weapons that have been discontinued. Mozambique is to be supplied mainly with light arms.

We must prepare to supply, Finland, Peru, and Nigeria, as well as Kuwait, the UAE, and Jordan with new defensive weapons.

For smaller countries, we must primarily consider supplies of light arms.

In questions of supplying special equipment to foreign countries, attention is to be paid to swiftly providing other materiel and spare parts.

9. In the area of organizing weapons and military equipment production in allied countries with Soviet licenses, we must continue efforts to limit such assistance. In doing so, we must consider the sale of licenses primarily for new models of weapons where the manufacturing and technical potential for this exists.

10. Where cooperation is offered to foreign countries, we must first and foremost ensure the creation of units for the operation and repair weapons and equipment of Soviet manufacture, as well as training units.

We must continue to provide assistance in the creation of units to ensure the deployment, administration, and military application of the weapons and military equipment supplied.

We must provide countries assistance in ensuring the operation of defense industrial enterprises and military units created with the cooperation of the USSR.

11. In the area of preparing military cadres for foreign countries, in the future, we must consider training in the Soviet Union primarily for the leadership of armed forces and commanding cadres at the level of brigade or battalion, as well as specialists for the newly supplied equipment. We must reduce the number of political and technical cadres from lower levels, and facilitate the expansion of their preparation immediately in their own countries.

We must actively influence the rational use of graduates from our institutions of higher learning in national armies.

12. In the work of Soviet military advisors and specialists, we must focus our main efforts on providing assistance in resolving questions of construction and preparation of armed forces in consideration of their tasks from all sides. We must aim to increase the military capacity of national armies not by increasing their numerical strength, but by perfecting their organizational staff structure and completion of their existing units and divisions, improving troop preparation, their administration, and maintaining their equipment and technique in a condition of proper military preparedness.

We must increase the responsibility of personnel from the GMS (Group of Military Specialists) in completing tasks related to military cooperation. Close coordination is needed in the activity of the GMS with Soviet diplomats in the countries where they are. We must perfect the organizational structure and reduce the number of advisors and specialists, while at the same time increasing their impact on commanding officers who hold key positions in national armies and on the day to day activity of troops and staff. If necessary, we must send instructors into countries, including those who have experienced military action. We must strive to preclude the involvement of our military specialists in military action, especially in domestic political conflicts. We must improve the working and living conditions of advisors and specialists in foreign countries.

We must continue work to improve the selection and preparation of military advisors who are to be sent abroad.

13. Contacts and connections with military and political leadership of foreign countries are to be expanded and deepened, actively using them for the strengthening of our influence in improvement of engagement in the implementation of military cooperation.

We must obtain greater effectiveness from the practice of exchanging delegations with the armies of foreign countries and conducting of mutual consultation on military and technical matters.

14. The conditions for providing military assistance to foreign countries in the XIIIth Five Year Plan are:

-For oil-producing countries, as well as those that are able to pay at a high level, terms of payment no lower than the current ones are to be preserved (payment of full cost is due in the same year as delivery and on credit for 3-10 years, or 3-15 years for India, with 3 percent annual interest). For Iraq, we must consider a discounted period of up to 2-3 years. For the YAR, in consideration of the improvement of the country's economic situation because of the increased production of oil, the new terms of payment for delivery of modern weapons, the previous payment terms are to be preserved for special equipment delivered earlier to the YAR;

-For countries with limited ability to pay, (Angola, Guinea, Guinea-Bissae, Zambia, the PDRY, Mozambique, Tanzania, Ethiopia, and others), the previous terms of payment are to be preserved (payment of 2/3 and 50 percent of the cost on credit for 10-15 years with 2-5 percent annual interest), while offering Angola, Guinea-Bissau, Mozambique, the PDRY, and Ethiopia discounted periods of up to 5 years as necessary.

Deliveries of special equipment in limited quantities to the Democratic Republic of San Tome and Principe, Nicaragua, Cape Verde, Burkina Faso, Benin, Mali, and the Seychelles is to be provided free of charge.

15. We must be guided by the political, economic, and military interests of the USSR and consider the details of the concrete international conditions, not excluding the possibility of establishing and developing military cooperation with foreign countries with whom we are not cooperating at the present time.

16. We must consider the question of organizing armies in developing countries (special divisions) with professional (mercenary) cadres and determine the expedience of addressing this matter in our cooperation with allied countries whose populations are on a lower political and cultural level, in order to increase the military capacity of their armies as the amount and effectiveness of Soviet assistance decreases.

17. If there are abrupt changes in the development of international conditions, proposals on whether to maintain military cooperation with foreign countries are to be made in established order.