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Kremlin Adviser Says He Warned Soviets About Afghanistan

March 16, 1988

MOSCOW (AP) _ A prominent Soviet adviser warned the Kremlin less than a month after Soviet troops entered Afghanistan that the action would derail efforts to curb the arms race, he said in a letter published today.

Economist Oleg T. Bogomolov said he sent a report in 1979 to the Communist Party’s ruling Politburo that outlined the potential dangers to Soviet foreign policy and public opinion.

″In a situation report delivered to the appropriate levels on Jan. 20, 1980, the hopeless and detrimental aspects of that action were stated,″ Bogomolov wrote in a letter published in the weekly Literary Gazette.

Bogomolov has been head of the Institute of Economics of the World Socialist System for nearly 20 years and is a respected adviser on development in Kremlin-allied nations.

Soviet troops entered Afghanistan in December 1979 to replace one pro- Moscow leadership with another and to back it against an anti-communist Moslem insurgency. An estimated 115,000 Soviet soldiers remain in Afghanistan to support the Kabul government now headed by President Najib.

The Soviets have said they will withdraw their troops if Pakistan, which represents the Afghan rebels, agrees to a peace proposal with Kabul. The two sides have been meeting for U.N.-sponsored peace talks in Geneva.

″For the first time since World War II emerged the possibility of a military conflict in which, unlike in Korea or Vietnam, we would have to fight with our own troops,″ Bogomolov quoted his report as saying.

″The report stated that as a result of that action detente was blocked and political efforts to limit the arms race were liquidated,″ Bogomolov wrote. ″There occurred a considerable consolidation of the anti-Soviet front in governments surrounding the USSR from the West to the East.″

The intervention in Afghanistan damaged Kremlin relations with developing countries, especially in Moslem nations, the economic theorist said he warned in the report.

The letter gave no indication what, if any, response Bogomolov received from the Kremlin leadership.

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