February 2, 1980 – A War Of Vital Interests – Ultimately, Oil.
Starting with reports from the Washington Post, that the U.S. was now willing to sell sophisticated military equipment to India, including so-called Smart Bombs. And what was going to be offered to Pakistan in their potential defense during actions was the subject of discussions between American officials and Pakistan’s Gen. Zia in Islamabad
Arrival of the officials signified the renewal of a long-term commitment between the U.S. and Pakistan. With the negotiating team came a group of experts to work out the details of the $400 million aid package the U.S. was offering Pakistan. So far, word from Pakistan was that the offer and the hardware were “peanuts”. American officials were quick to point out that the $400 million was only the first installment in a longer program. They were pointing out that the Carter administration was putting aside its reservations.
Both the New York Times and the Washington Post quoted Administration sources saying the U.S. might have to resort to tactical nucear weapons if the Russians pushed into the Persian Gulf region. From Moscow, Pravda reported that allegations the Soviet Union was interested in the regions oil fields and wanted to push through to warm water ports was totally false. “The Average American ought to know that such tales are nothing more than political trickery” Pravda was quoted as saying. The paper went on to say that, unlike the United States, the Soviet Union had never claimed other people’s oil resources and has never declared oil-rich regions as part of their sphere of vital interests. The quote was in response to President Carter‘s State of the Union message where he was quoted as saying the Persian Gulf to be a “sphere of U.S. vital interests”.
And that’s just a little of what happened, this February 2, 1980 as reported by The CBS World News Roundup.