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erything," Kirilenko told the Politburo. since the summer to remove Amin from absolute minimum, to make sure that “And what has come of it? Nothing of the Afghan leadership, including two the decision was not delayed by the forany value. After all, it was they who assassination attempts. None of these mal submission of reports from various executed innocent people for no reason efforts had succeeded, a fact which can- departments and ministries to the Poand told us that we also executed people not have pleased the ambitious litburo. In this effort, they were assisted in Lenin's time. You see what kind of Andropov and may have weakened his by ideology chief Mikhail Suslov and Marxists we have found.”

political position. In late November, Brezhnev's chief adviser on foreign It was President Taraki's murder by after Amin had demanded the replace- policy, Andrei Aleksandrov-Agentov. his second-in-command Hafizullah ment of Soviet ambassador to Kabul Brutents, the deputy head of the CPSU Amin in October 1979—shortly after he A.M. Puzanov, Andropov and Ustinov CC International Department, told the had stopped off in Moscow for a cor- decided that the only way to resolve the Lysebu meeting that in early Decemdial meeting with Brezhnev on his way Afghan issue was the combination of a ber 1979, as he was preparing a report back from a non-aligned summit meet- Soviet military intervention and the on the issue of a potential Soviet miliing in Havana—which set the Soviets physical elimination of Hafizullah tary intervention in Afghanistan, he got on the course to intervention. In light Amin. Amin's persistent calls for in- a telephone call from Alexandrovof past Soviet support for Taraki, the creased USSR military aid, including Agentov. “First, he asked me what I KGB suspected Amin of planning what Soviet troops, enboldened them and was doing. When I told him, he asked, Shebarshin called “doing a Sadat on made it easier for them to present their And what exactly are you writing us”: a wholesale defection from the suggestions to the Politburo.

there?' When I told him that I was goSoviet camp and an alignment with the The increasing strains in East-Westing to write a negative opinion, he said: United States—as Egyptian President relations—including in the essential So, do you suggest that we should give Anwar Sadat had done earlier in the field of arms control-over the last Afghanistan to the Americans?' And 1970s—which would allow the Ameri- months of 1979 may also have influ- he immediately ended the conversacans to place “their control and intelli- enced Andropov and Ustinov's deci- tion.” Brutents' report was not in the gence centers close to our most sensi- sion, and certainly made it easier for materials prepared for the Politburo tive borders.” The KGB closely moni- them to convince some of their col- members at the climactic meetings. tored Amin's meetings with U.S. offi- leagues. The long-awaited Carter- The last obstacle on the path to incials in Kabul in late October, believ- Brezhnev summit in Vienna in June tervention was winning over, or at least ing that Washington was eying a re- 1979 had, despite the signing of a SALT neutralizing, those Politburo members, placement for its lost electronic intelli- II treaty, failed to generate much mo- such as Kosygin and Kirilenko, who gence collection posts in northern Iran. 8 mentum toward an improvement in ties throughout the crisis had vocally op

Although no political orders had between Washington and Moscow. posed the idea of sending in Soviet yet been issued concerning a possible Moreover, the NATO decision that fall troops. Ustinov and Andropov realized intervention, the military chiefs of staff to deploy a new class of medium range that the only way to ensure that a proin late October 1979 began preparations nuclear missiles in Europe and the in- posal for intervention would carry the and some training for such a mission. creasing reluctance of the US Senate to day in the Politburo was to convince These orders reflected the increased ratify the SALT II pact removed the Brezhnev of the need to strike fast. The concern of Defense Minister Dmitri

concerns of some Politburo-members party head—by nature cautious and cirUstinov over the Afghan issue, and his over the effects a Soviet intervention cumspect on international issues—was sense that proposing an intervention might have on detente. As one of the persuaded by arguments closely tied to might soon become politically accept- Soviet conference participants put it in his personal status on the world stage. able to his colleagues. In the not-too- Oslo, “by winter of 1979 detente was, Gen. Aleksandr Liakhovskii told the subtle game of who would succeed for most purposes, already dead.” The Lysebu meeting that after Amin's coup, Brezhnev—which by late 1979 was in bleak outlooks on the diplomatic front “Brezhnev's attitude to the entire issue full swing in the Politburo—a premium helped carry the day with Foreign Min- had changed. He could not forgive was being placed on both caution and ister Andrei Gromyko, who at the best Amin, because Brezhnev had personenterprise: "Recklessness" or "being a of times was a somewhat pusillanimous ally assured Taraki that he would be able Napoleon” were potentially deadly epi- participant in Soviet high politics, op- to help him. And then they disregarded thets to hurl at a politically ambitious posing intervention in March only af- Brezhnev completely and murdered Defense Minister, while “forcefulness” ter being sure which way the wind was Taraki. Brezhnev used to say, “how and “looking after our interests” could blowing in the Politburo discussions. should the world be able to believe what be used as arguments in his favor.

The KGB and Defense Ministry Brezhnev says, if his words do not count Ustinov's colleague, collaborator, heads had two remaining obstacles to in Afghanistan?"" and sometime rival, KGB chief Yuri overcome in their determination to send Andropov's remarkable personal Andropov, also started leaning toward Soviet troops to Afghanistan. First, they and handwritten letter to Brezhnev in military intervention in late 1979. The had to narrow the field of participants early December—read aloud by KGB had overseen several Soviet bids in the decision-making process to an Dobrynin to the Lysebu conference from notes he had taken in the Russian deployment decision, states one in- sharp on Christmas Day: airborne Presidential Archives—summed up the formed Russian account, “Ustinov and troops from the 103rd and 105th air dicase for intervention. According to the Andropov cited dangers to the south- visions landed in Kabul and in Shindand KGB chief, Amin was conducting “be- ern borders of the Soviet Union and a in western Afghanistan, and units from hind-the-scenes activities which may possibility of American short-range the 5th and 108th motorized rifle divimean his political reorientation to the missiles being deployed in Afghanistan sions crossed the border at Kushka and West.” In addition, Andropov told the and aimed at strategic objects in at Termez. Just before nightfall on Dechronically ill and enfeebled leader, Kazakhstan, Siberia, and elsewhere."


cember 27, Soviet paratroopers, assisted Amin "attacks Soviet policy and the Brezhnev accepted the outlined plan for by two KGB special units, attacked activities of our specialists." But an intervention which the heads of the Amin's residence at Duraleman Palace, Andropov dangled before Brezhnev a military and the KGB presented to him. and, after overcoming stiff resistance possible remedy for his Afghan Right after seeing Brezhnev, from the Palace Guards, summarily extroubles: A group of anti-Amin Afghan Ustinov and Andropov met with the ecuted the president and several of his Communists, mostly belonging to the head of the General Staff, Marshal N.V. closest aides. It was—we were told in minority Parcham faction, who had Ogarkov, in the Walnut Room, a small Lysebu by the men who devised it—a been living under KGB tutelage in ex- meeting room adjacent to the hall where well-organized and successful operaile, had, “without changing their plans the Politburo usually sat. The two in- tion, in which all the "strategic objecfor an uprising, appealed to us for as- formed Ogarkov of their conversation tives" were reached on time. sistance, including military assistance with Brezhnev. Ogarkov—who to- The intervention in Afghanistan if needed.” Although Andropov evi- gether with his deputies Gen. was the start of a war of almost unlimdently still felt unwilling to ask Varennikov and Marshal Sergei ited destruction, leaving more than one Brezhnev directly and explicitly to sup- Akhromeyev had earlier warned million Afghans dead or wounded and port sending in Soviet troops, his letter Ustinov against an intervention once almost four million driven into exile. made the case for such an intervention, again listed his reasons why Soviet For the Soviets the war became a deaththe framework of which was already be- troops should not be sent in. Ustinov knell, signalling Moscow's internaing discussed between the KGB head overruled him, and in the evening called tional isolation, its leadership's inconand the defense minister.

a meeting of the senior staff of the De- stancy and fragmentation, and its Although agreeing with Andropov fense Ministry and told them to imple- public's growing disbelief in the purconcerning the political purpose of the ment preparations for the intervention. pose and direction of Soviet rule. By use of Soviet troops, Defense Minister The decision to send in troops was cer- the time its forces left in early 1989, the Ustinov was not willing to accept a lim- tain to come, Ustinov said.

Soviet regime was crumbling; two years ited operation along the lines recom- On December 12, the Politburo met later it was gone. The Afghan War was mended by the KGB head. Varennikov, and formally ratified the proposal to not only the first war which the Soviet who headed operational planning in the intervene. Gromyko chaired the meet- Union lost: It was the last war it fought. General Staff, told the Lysebu meeting ing, after having co-signed the proposal The post-December 1979 docuthat Ustinov wanted 75,000 troops for together with Ustinov and Andropov. ments included in the Bulletin show the the operation for two main reasons: Konstantin Chernenko wrote out, by slow and painful road which the Soviet First, he wanted to make sure that the hand, a short protocol accepting the pro- leaders travelled toward realizing the toppling of Amin's regime could be car- posal—entitled "Concerning the Situa- failure of their Afghan venture. Already ried out smoothly, even if some of the tion in 'A'”—and had all Politburo after Andropov's visit to Kabul in late Afghan army groups in Kabul decided members present sign their names di- January 1980, the Politburo understood to resist. Second, he believed that So- agonally across the text. Kosygin, who that the troops would have to stay in viet forces should be used to guard almost certainly would have opposed an Afghanistan for the indefinite future. Afghanistan's borders with Pakistan intervention, was not present. Kirilenko Almost immediately, Moscow started to and Iran, thereby preventing outside signed after some hesitation. Brezhnev, seek a political settlement as an altersupport for the Afghan Islamic guerril- who entered the room after the brief native to war. Gromyko and Andropov las. On December 6, Andropov ac- discussion was finished, added his seem to have been at the forefront in cepted Ustinov's plan.

name, in quivering handwriting, at the this cautious and awkward examination Around noon on December 8, the bottom of the page.


of the possibilities for getting the Sotwo met with Brezhnev and Gromyko Two days later, the General Staff viet troops out. in the general secretary's office in the operative team, headed by Marshal As the documents show, the PolitKremlin. In addition to the concerns Akhromeyev, was in place in Termez, buro members just could not make up Andropov had raised with Brezhnev Uzbekistan (USSR), near the Afghan their minds as to what constituted Soearlier, he and Ustinov now added the border. A group from the operational viet minimum demands for a troop strategic situation. Meeting two days team arrived at Bagram airforce base withdrawal. Brezhnev's letter to Fidel after West Germany had given its vital outside Kabul on December 18. Castro on Afghanistan in March 1980 support for NATO's two-track missile- The main operation started at 3 pm demonstrates that Soviet expectations as to what kind of political deal was pos- to be reached quickly. On the other sible became increasingly unrealistic as hand, Gorbachev believed that stepping Western attitudes hardened and the Red up military pressure on the resistance Army failed to quell the Afghan Islamic and their Pakistani backers was the way rebellion. In his address to a Central to achieve a deal within the timeframe Committee plenum in June 1980, set by Moscow for a withdrawal. The Brezhnev put the Afghanistan conflict years 1985 and 1986 were therefore the into a standard Cold War context, im- worst years of the war, with massive plying that a settlement would not be Soviet attacks against the civilian popupossible before the overall Western ap- lation in areas held by the resistance. proach to the Soviet Union changed. Considering the cards he had been

In spite of his growing impatience dealt, Gorbachev did well in the Afghan with the Afghan leaders, Andropov, af- endgame. He got the troops out on time ter taking over as General Secretary in spite of fierce opposition from his following Brezhnev’s death in Novem- own ranks and the constant political ber 1982, changed little of his maneuvering of the Reagan Adminispredecessor's basic approach. Indeed, tration. The bickering among opposithe former KGB chief knew well that tion groups, the change of regime in his standing within the party was con- Pakistan (after the death of Mohammed nected to the validity of the December Zia ul-Haq in a June 1988 plane crash), 1979 decision, in which he had been a and the massive Soviet supplies sent in prime mover.


Like Brezhnev, in 1988 and early 1989, even gave the Andropov sought a way out of Afghani- Najibullah regime in Kabul a real stan, and was willing to accept a UN chance of survival, making the Soviet role in international mediation of the withdrawal seem less of a sell-out than conflict. His message to the Politburo, it really was. In fact, the mistakes however, was that the USSR must ne- Najibullah made after the Soviets bailed gotiate from a position of strength: “We out in February 1989 probably had so are fighting against American imperi- much to do with his eventual downfall alism which well understands that in that Gorbachev's attempts to wash his this part of international politics it has hands over the fate of his one-time ally lost its positions. That is why we can- have some basis in truth.

Boris Yeltsin's thinking on his The Soviet approach to peacemak- Chechen imbroglio still seems far from ing in Afghanistan found no takers the 1986 mark, in terms of a compariamong the Afghan Islamic guerrillas, son with Afghanistan. In spite of the the military rulers of Pakistan, or in the differences between the two conflicts, Reagan Administration in Washington. the only way out for the Russian govInstead, starting in early 1984, Ameri- ernment was the path which Gorbachev can military supplies to the Afghan re- followed from 1986 to 1989, and which sistance through Pakistan increased dra- Gen. Aleksandr Lebed undertook (with matically. Reagan told the CIA in a Yeltsin's grudging acquiescence) in the Presidential Directive that the aim of summer of 1996: a negotiated withU.S. involvement in Afghanistan had drawal of Russian troops. changed from increasing the costs to the

1 USSR to trying to push the Soviets out. The transcript of the Nobel Symposium at Moscow's hapless handling of its Af

Lysebu will be published together with the tran

scripts of other Carter-Brezhnev Project conferghan problem had led Reagan to aim

ences. A preliminary version, David Welch and

Odd Arne Westad, eds., The Intervention in AfMikhail Gorbachev, who took over ghanistan: Record of an Oral History Conference leadership of the CPSU in March 1985,

(Nobel Symposium 95), is available from the Nor

wegian Nobel Institute, Drammensvn. 19, 0255 at first had a dual approach to the Af

Oslo, Norway, fax: (+47) 22 43 01 68. ghan war. On the one hand, he under- 2 Researchers interested in examining the photostood that the Politburo had to make a copied documents obtained by the Carterpolitical decision to bring the troops

Brezhnev Project should contact the National Se

curity Archive, where they are kept on file; the home and that any negotiated settlement

Archive can be reached at (202) 994-7000 (teleconnected to the withdrawal would have phone) or (202) 994-7005 (fax) and is located on

the 7th floor of the Gelman Library, 2130 H St.
NW, Washington, DC 20037.

See James G. Blight and David Welch, On the
Brink: Americans and Soviets Reexamine the
Cuban Missile Crisis, 2nd. ed. (New York: Noon-
day, 1990); and Blight et al., Cuba on the Brink:
Castro, the Missile Crisis, and the Soviet Col-
lapse (New York: Pantheon, 1993).

The best surveys of the Soviet intervention to appear in print so far are Diego Cordovez and Selig S. Harrison, Out of Afghanistan: The Inside Story of the Soviet Withdrawal (New York: Oxford University Press, 1995); Raymond L. Garthoff, Detente and Confrontation: AmericanSoviet Relations from Nixon to Reagan, rev. ed. (Washington, D.C.: Brookings, 1994), 977-1075; and Aleksandr Liakhovskii, Tragediia i doblest' afgana (Afghan Tragedy and Valour] (Moscow: Iskona, 1995); see also Odd Arne Westad, ed., The Fall of Détente: Soviet-American Relations in the Carter Years (Oslo: Scandinavian University Press, 1997). 5 See Odd Arne Westad, “Prelude to Invasion: The Soviet Union and the Afghan Communists, 1978-1979,International History Review 16:1 (February 1994), 49-69, and “Nakanune vvoda sovetskikh voisk v Afganistan,” Novaia i noveishaia istoriia 2 (1994), 19-35.

KGB Gen. Leonid Shebarshin, author's interview, Moscow, 7 October 1993. Shebarshin was the KGB rezident in Teheran in 1979. See also Shebarshin's comments in Welch and Westad, eds., The Intervention in Afghanistan. 7

See transcript of CPSU Politburo meeting, 18 March 1979, in this issue of the CWIHP Bulletin. 8

(Ed. note: These stations were particularly important because they were used to monitor Soviet missile tests and other military activities in the USSR. According to various sources, rather than seeking replacements in Afghanistan the U.S. instead moved to replace the lost electronic spy posts in northern Iran by coming to an intelligence sharing arrangement with the People's Republic of China, allowing Washington to continue monitoring Soviet missile tests from new electronic intelligence joint U.S.-PRC stations in western China, with the Chinese also getting the data.)

Liakhovskii, Tragediia i doblest afgana, 109. 10

For an English translation and facsimile of this document, see CWIHP Bulletin 4 (Fall 1994), 76. 11

Cordovez and Harrison find that Andropov's "objective was to minimize casualties and to scale down operations while seeking a negotiated settlement." (Out of Afghanistan, p. 147.) While there is little evidence for a scaling-down of military operations in Afghanistan during Andropov's short time in power (November 1982-February 1984), at least he did not authorize the same sharp increase in military activities which took place under his successor Konstantin Chernenko (February 1984-March 1985) and during Gorbachev's first year as CPSU general secretary (March 1985March 1986). 12 CPSU CC Politburo transcript, 10 March 1983; excerpt printed below. 13 Former Director of Central Intelligence Robert Gates' memoirs, From the Shadows (New York: Simon & Schuster, 1996), provides the fullest overview we have so far of the CIA's covert war in Afghanistan, especially pp. 319-321.

not back off.”12

for victory. 13

The Soviet Union and Afghanistan, 1978-1989: Documents from the Russian and East German Archives

the contradictions between the Daoud regime The coming to power of the PDPA and Frequently used abbreviations: and its class supporters and the fundamental its actions were met with approval by the

interests of the working masses, the voice peoples' masses.” At the same time the “inAPRF = Archive of the President, Russian of which is the PDPA."

ternal reaction, while so far not deciding on Federation

Daoud's order to arrest the PDPA fa- an open demonstration,” is activating “unCC = Central Committee cilitated the fall of his regime.

derground efforts” (propaganda, the dropCom. = Comrade

The Taraki government's program (dec- ping in of weapons, and diversionary groups CPSU = Communist Party of the Soviet laration of 9 May 1978) is worked out on which are being prepared in Pakistan). Union

the basis of the PDPA program of 1966. The The friction between the Khalq and DRA = Democratic Republic of Afghani- main task, is providing for the interests of Parcham factions is having a negative instan

the working population on the basis of fun- fluence. GKEHS = State Committee for Economic damental perestroika of the social-economic The main point of disagreement is govCooperations

structures of society, and the liquidation of ernment posts. The representatives of MFA = Ministry of Foreign Affairs the influence of neocolonialism and imperi- Khalq, especially in the army, are dissatisPDPA = People's Democratic Party of Af- alism."

fied with the naming of Parcham represenghanistan

In a conversation with the Soviet Am- tatives to a number of leadership posts. The SAPMO = Stiftung Archiv der Partaien und bassador on April 29, Taraki said that “Af- leader of Parcham, B[abrak). Karmal, in his Massorganisationen der DDR im ghanistan, following Marxism-Leninism,

ghanistan, following Marxism-Leninism, turn, objected to the the widening of the Bundesarchiv (Berlin)

will set off on the path of building socialism Revolutionary Council for the benefit of TsKhSD = Center for the Storage of Con- and will belong to the socialist camp,” but it military officers. The Ambassador and “adtemporary Documentation, Moscow is necessary to conduct that line "carefully" visors on Party relations” in conversations

and of his true goals the PDPA will inform with the new leadership stressed the necesPolitical Letter from USSR Ambassador the people “later.”

sity of “overcoming the tensions” and to Afghanistan A. Puzanov to Soviet In foreign policy the DRA is oriented “strengthening the unity” of the leadership Foreign Ministry, "About the Domestic toward the Non-Aligned movement, but it and the party. As a result, on 24 May 1978 Political Situation in the DRA,” will give its priority to cooperation with the the Politburo of the CC PDPA made a deci31 May 1978 (notes) USSR.

sion to eliminate the names Khalq and

About the reaction of the West: the Parcham and to affirm the unity of the It is noted that the “basic precondi- overthrow of Daoud was “a total surprise,” PDPA. tions” for the overthrow of [Mohammed) and in the press of the Western and “reac- The Afghans asked the USSR to send Daoud in April 1978 “flowed from the ob- tionary Moslem countries” a “campaign of a “large group of advisors and consultants” jective domestic political and economic de- falsehoods” was deployed against the new to work in the state apparat, and also to help velopment of the country after 1973." government.

in putting together a five year plan. The Daoud expressed the interests and class po- At the same time, “according to infor- USSR has “favorably” resolved these issues. sition of bourgeois landowners and rightist mation which we have" the embassies of the This will facilitate the growth of symnationalist forces, and therefore was not ca- USA and other Western countries received pathy for the USSR, the further fortifying pable of carrying out a reformation in the instructions to search out all means to hold and strengthening of our positions in Afinterests of the broad laboring masses," pri- on in Afghanistan, including promises to pro- ghanistan." marily agricultural reform. vide economic assistance.

Conclusions: The situation in the counIn conditions of a worsening economic The Afghan leadership “is not show- try “overall is stabilizing more and more,” situation in the country and Daoud's depar- ing haste” in concluding economic agree- the government is controlling all its regions ture from the programmatic declaration of ments with the West, “proceeding from an and is taking measures “to cut off...the dem1973, which led to "a constant growth in intention to reorient its foreign economic onstrations of the domestic reaction.” the dissatisfaction of broad strata of the relations primarily towards the USSR and The most important factor for the furpopulation,” Daoud huddled ever more the socialist camp.”

ther strengthening of the new power will be closely with the “domestic reaction," which The measures which have been under- the achievement of unity in the leadership was supported by the reactionary Islamic taken by the new government in the month of the PDPA and the government. But “the regimes" and by “American imperialism,” it has been in power bear witness to its “firm tension so far has not totally been cleared and followed a course toward the “strength- intention" gradually to create the precondi- away.” The embassy jointly with a group ening ... of a regime of personal power." tions "for Afghanistan's transition to the so- of Party advisors is undertaking measures This led to an "abrupt sharpening of cialist path of development."

to overcome the disagreements in the Afunity “we will crush them as if with a steamroller (proidemsia zheleznym katkom). Such measures will only strengthen the Party."


Sent to Kozyrev, C.P., Ponomarev, B.N....

(Source: Notes of O.A. Westad, TsKhSD, f. 5, op. 75, d. 1181, II. 22-27.)

Record of Conversation between Soviet

Ambassador to Afghanistan A.M.
Puzanov and Taraki, 18 July 1978

ghan leadership.

Party or in the army to defend my thesis

it is difficult to fulfill the May 24 resolution (Source: Based on notes taken by Odd Arne of the Party on unity and the directives of Westad on materials at the Center for the the Politburo, they remain paper, nothing Storage of Contemporary Documentation (TsKhSD), fond (f.) 5, opis (op.) 75, delo (d.) [...] Further, B. Karmal in a condition 1179, listy (II.) 2-17.)

of extreme excitement said the following.

In both the Party and in the governRecord of Conversation, Soviet ment I occupy the second post after N.M. Ambassador A.M. Puzanov and Taraki, Taraki. Despite this, I do not know what is 18 June 1978

going on in the country — they have iso

lated me, I am not engaged in either domesThe meeting took place in connection tic or foreign policy issues, I live as if in a with the arrival in Kabul of a group of [So- gilded cage. For me, as a communist, this viet] Party advisors headed by V.I. is a heavy tragedy. In the presence of N.M. Kharazov.

Taraki, PDPA Politburo member H. Amin [The Ambassador) informed N.M. said that to provide unity it is necessary to Taraki about the arrival in Kabul on July 27 carry out extremely decisive measures. of the first group of Soviet advisors for work N.M. Taraki really wants unity. However, in the Afghan ministries and departments. for this to happen, thousands of honest com

[...] Further Taraki requested that only munists in Afghanistan will be subject to the Soviet Ambassador and V.I. Khazarov terror, persecutions, their names will be slanremain and said that B. Karmal had arrived, dered. I myself live under the threat that and wants to express a number of thoughts. they will subject me to persecution. In con

Coming into the office, B. Karmal said clusion, B. Karmal declared that the matter the following.

is moving towards a split in the Party, evRecently more frequently it has been erything is moving into the hands of the heard that there is no unity in the PDPA. government and army. This, without doubt, reflects negatively on N.M. Taraki declared decisively that all the Party itself, on the state apparatus, the issues in the ruling organs of the PDPA are army, the revolution, on the prestige of the decided on the basis of democratic centralSoviet Union and might lead to difficult ism, and nobody threatens anyone. There consequences. People are different, and this is no split in the Party, unity is being distinction might be used for provocative strengthened, although certain people are goals. Unfortunately, our position (the demonstrating against it. If someone moves Parchams) in the Party, state apparatus, and against the revolution and the unity of the army is subject to a number of provocations. Party, then there will be a purge of the Party. But insofar as I am sure that the Party, state There is no terror, however, if it will be reckand army, under the leadership of N.M. oned that this or some other person presents Taraki and [First Deputy Prime Minister] a danger for the revolution, then decisive H[afizzulah). Amin, with the great assis- measures of punishment may be applied to tance of the Soviet Union, are building so- him, right up to capital punishment. cialism in Afghanistan, then, feeling a debt On this N.M. Taraki interrupted the to the revolution, I do not intend to create conversation and let it be known that he does problems, so that neither a friend nor an not wish to continue the discussion with B. enemy can take advantage of my situation. Karmal. B. Karmal said good-bye and left. Regarding the June 17 decision of the CC Remaining with N.M. Taraki, [the PDPA Politburo to send a number of com- Ambassador and Khazarov) once again rades to foreign countries as ambassadors, I noted the necessity of taking into account and N.A. Noor ... also consider it useful to when making some or other appointments go abroad as ambassadors or under the pre- the political resonance and consequences text of medical treatment, so as not to give which they might prompt. They stressed that grounds for provocations against noble and enemies must not be given grounds for ushonest people. In such a way, N.M. Taraki ing similar issues for their own goals. and H. Amin may be able to fulfill the men- N.M. Taraki said that the Party is united tioned program. Unfortunately, said B. and its unity is becoming ever stronger, but Karmal, I have no possibility either in the as to those who will demonstrate against

[The Ambassador) also said that the observations expressed by the leadership of the DRA about the necessity for effective defense of the airspace of the DRA had been attentively studied in the General Staff of the USSR Armed Forces, and the necessary measures had been worked out for use in the event that there should appear a danger to the DRA from the air. In addition, with this goal in mind the delivery of an additional quantity of anti-aircraft installations for the present and future years had been reviewed. The deliveries of weapons will be fixed in an agreement, for the signing of which, according to the agreement, a delegation headed by Major-General V.E. Kuznetsov is arriving today.

Taraki informed the Ambassador about the situation in the country and about his meeting on July 13-14 with the Deputy Secretary of State of the USA D[avid D). Newsom.

In the conversation with me, said N.M. Taraki, the Deputy Secretary of State spoke about the USA government's concern about the one-sided orientation in the foreign policy of the DRA and the chill in AfghanAmerican relations.

D. Newsom asked a provocative question — what actions will the government of the DRA take in the event of an attack by the Soviet Union.

N.M. Taraki pointed out the inappropriateness of a question like that.

(Source: Notes of 0.A. Westad, TsKhSD, f. 5, op. 75, d. 1181, II. 36-40.]

Information from CC CPSU to GDR leader Erich Honecker, 13 October 1978

Highly confidential

According to the instructions of CC

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