Pipeline Sanctions

Vital to Soviet economy was the building of a pipeline for gas to Western Europe. The United States pressed for stopping the pipeline and had to accept a compromise at a meeting of the North Atlantic Congress (NAC). West European countries could continue to develop the pipeline but not step in and fill contracts the Americans had abandoned. This was a critical part victory, however, for the United States.

The Soviets believing deliveries to the project could be secured elsewhere had however overlooked one detail – the rotor shafts and blades driving the gas turbines in compressor station along the 3,300 mile long pipeline. These shafts and rotors were made by General Electric, which was now stopped from delivering them. The Soviets managed to find a French alternative and the company was willing to sell, in spite of the NAC treaty.

Economic Warfare Against the Soviets

Under Clark the NSC was by now undertaking studies exploring other ways to damage the Soviet economy. A grain cartel to limit exports to the USSR was one subject the NSC looked at.

The council produced a study to clearly determine the basic differences between the Reagan administration’s national security strategy as expressed in NSDD 32 and the strategy of the Carter administration.

A memorandum for Clark revealed that there were significant differences as to substance, scope, tone, and world view.

The first was that the Carter administration’s basic approach was one of “competition and cooperation”. The “cooperative” element was a broadly based perspective ranging from ‘seek Soviet cooperation in resolving regional conflicts’ to ‘seek to involve the Soviet Union constructively in global activities such as economic, social developments, and peaceful non-strategic trade’ (PD-18 of the Carter administration). The strategic formula was detente. NSDD 32 instead concluded that “the Soviet policy of global expansionism backed by a dramatically strengthened military position challenges the strategic interests of the United States worldwide. From this basic perspective, our strategic approach toward the Soviet Union is one of realism. The formula seeks ‘to neutralize the efforts of the USSR to increase its influence’ and ‘to foster restraint in Soviet military spending, adventurism, and to weaken the Soviet alliance system”. The Soviet Union is to bear the brunt of its economic shortcomings’. The formula is not detente.” (FOIA Case No. NLS F96-069/1 # 4, Document Date October 5, 1982).

The second fundamental difference was “the degree of comprehensiveness of the two strategies.” (Ibid.) The Carter administration dealt almost exclusively with the military component. “NSDD-32 too acknowledges that the full articulation of a national strategy requires the development and integration of diplomatic information, economic/political, and military strategic components. NSDD-32 directs that these components be the subject of specific studies. Unlike the Carter administration documents, NSDD-32 establishes specific policies inter alia in the following areas: force development strategies and priorities; regional objectives, policies, and goals for Allies and friends; wartime objectives and priorities; force integration; mobilization; and security assistance. These examples are characteristic of the far broader scope of NSDD-32”. (Ibid.)

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