Soviets' Afghan thrust seen easing way for US Mideast base

Soviet intervention in Afghanistan is likely to make the idea of establishing an American military base in the Middle East more acceptable to the American public and Congress, according to a number of specialists on foreign affairs.

:An American base in the region would have been unthinkable just after the defeat in Vietnam. But almost no prominent figures have opposed recent proposals from Congress for such a base.

Sen. Richard Stone (D) of Florida has proposed putting US military forces at bases in the Sinai Desert which are to be turned over by Israel to Egypt. Both Egypt and Somalia are reported to have offered the United States the use of bases on their territory.

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