The United States is moving ahead with its plans for in-depth defense of the West's oil interests and sea lanes in the Indian Ocean area, and NATO's chief executive says the Western alliance members will approve these plans, Monitor correspondent John Cooley reports.
NATO Secretary-General Joseph M. A. H. Luns asserts that Western "naval superiority," bolstered by US and British actions to reinforce the Western presence in the Indian Ocean, can help deter Soviet attacks on Iran or other areas outside the geographical area (north of the Tropic of Cancer and west of the Turkish-Iranian border) which NATO protects.
"It seems that the Soviets intended their move into Afghanistan to give them a springboard. . . . But the US itself could take some action if the Soviets moved in the direction of the oil fields," Mr. Luns told reporters at a conference on Soviet sea power held at the US Naval Academy here June 17-19.