Study Sees U.S. Losing to Soviets in Mideast

The United States is “ineffective” in dealing with the Soviet “danger” in the Middle East, according to a report released yesterday by the American Enterprise institute, a group partly financed by oil interests. The authors of the study, labeled a special analysis by the Institute, are William R. Kintner, the director of the Foreign Policy Research institute, a nonpartisan research group, which co-sponsored the study, and Robert L, Pfaitzgraff Jr. Both are known to be “hard line anti-Communists” according to national security strategists here. The study describes the situation in the Middle East as seen by the authors but makes no recommendations for U.S. policy. The Soviet aims, according to the study, are to open the Suez Canal and the withdrawal of Israeli forces from the east bank of the waterway. The Soviets are motivated by a desire for influence in the oil-rich and politically unstable Persian Gulf area, the study says and adds that the U.S. “Is severely hampered under these circumstances” as a result of a growing Soviet navy as opposed to a declining Sixth Fleet.

The study does not lay the blame for U.S. ineffectiveness on any one factor. Instead, it portrays the U.S. in a bind with the Israelis seeing “their political position compromised and their military margin declining.” It claims that the “direct employment of Soviet military power” in Egypt’s behalf “dramatically” improved the military and political prospects of the Arabs but the U.S. political position in the Arab world is not improving. The USSR, the report says, is capitalizing on its opportunities and using the local balance of forces and the nuclear stalemate to “create the fear of confrontation while avoiding a clearly offensive posture.”

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