Sen. Jim McClure is simply wrong regarding the history of independent Angola and prospects for peace in southern Africa {Free for All, June 11}. His misleading representations may harm the current dialogue between Angola and South Africa, leading to continued death and destruction in the region.

The Alvor agreements he refers to were negotiated under pressure from the Organization of African Unity and, as he correctly points out, set up a tripartite transitional government calling for a single, national army and Nov. 11, 1975, as the date for Angolan independence. (The Soviets, by the way, firmly supported the Alvor Agreements.)

Contrary to McClure's assertions, however, immediately after the signing of this pact, the U.S. "40 Committee" (a covert operation policy-making committee) authorized at the urging of the Central Intelligence Agency an increase in funding to Holden Roberto's Front for the National Liberation of Angola (FNLA). The FNLA received these funds because of its history of commitment to a military, not a political, solution in Angola, as well as its longstanding opposition to the now-ruling Movement for the Popular Liberation of Angola (MPLA). This was the first effort at undermining the accords and set the stage for a grand CIA covert operation in Angola.

With renewed U.S. arms shipments the FNLA launched an attack in March 1975 against MPLA offices (not military camps) and expelled the MPLA from its northern territories. Later that same month about 1,200 troops from Zaire, in collaboration with Jonas Savimbi's UNITA forces, entered Angola to fight alongside the FNLA against the MPLA. Finding themselves heavily outgunned, the MPLA sought and received a rapid increase in military assistance from the Soviet Union and several hundred military recruits from Cuba.

These actions continued apace. The CIA stepped up its funding to UNITA, and peace grew dimmer. The net result of U.S. intervention in a foreign civil war, on the heels of Vietnam, was the Clark Amendment in 1976, prohibiting further CIA involvement. This law was effective at minimizing bloodshed until the Reagan administration succeeded in having the amendment repealed in 1985, Since then, Savimbi's UNITA has received Stinger missiles and other deadly weapons from the United States, totaling $30 million a year.

The Reagan Doctrine, not the Gorbachev Doctrine, has consistently undermined efforts at peace in southern Africa. It has completely failed to move ahead on Namibian independence. It has shattered the hopes and the lives of thousands of blacks in South Africa through its "constructive engagement" policy. As in Nicaragua, the Reagan Doctrine steers the parties toward a military, not political, solution. President Reagan wants Luanda to "cry uncle." It is highly unlikely that this administration will succeed in resolving any of the crucial issues in southern Africa during its eight years in office.

Instead of peace, the administration, with supporters such as McClure, may very well succeed in prolonging a war that has resulted in the highest amputee population in the world. Many of these victims are children. Most of them were maimed by U.S.-supplied mines.

Cuban troops in Angola have kept the pressure on the governments of South Africa and the United States to deal quickly and sincerely with peace in the region. Their pressure has provided a glimmer of hope for Angolans. Subsequently, their withdrawal has been accepted in principle by Angola and Cuba. It is up to the Reagan administration and its chief southern Africa specialist, Chester Crocker, to persuade the majority of Congress that it seeks peace, not a military solution in Angola and all of southern Africa. It cannot do that with spokespersons such as McClure spouting ideological rhetoric that defaces the truth.

-- Allan Ebert