The United States yesterday further escalated its economic and military responses to the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan by revoking export licenses for computer parts used in the Soivet Union's largest truck plant and by sending B52 bombers on a flight over Soviet ships in the Indian Ocean.
At the same time, the Carter administration continued its efforts to rally resistance to Soviet moves in the Middle East and Southwest Asia by revealing it has offered Egypt more than $1 billion in sophisticated war-planes and other military aid over the next two years.
But another part of the administration's military aid efforts were forced to a temporary standstill by the apparent inability of the United States and Paksitan to agree on the size of an aid package. As a result, the administration postponed sending to Congress its proposed $400 million request for assisting Pakistan over a two-year period.
The Carter administration's top-priority campaign to contain the potential spread of Soviet influence in the region that contains the Persian Gulf and its vital oil supplies was highlighted yesterday by these moves:
In an effort to dramatize the long reach of American military power, the Pentagon ordered a flight of B52 bombers, operating from undisclosed bases, to fly over a task force of Soviet vessels in the Indian Ocean.
As part of the continuing effort to deny the Soviets access to U.S. technology, the Commerce Department banned shipment of computer parts used in the Kama River plant, which produces 25 percent of the Soviet Union's trucks, because the trucks were used in the Afghanistan invasion.
After conferring for 2 1/2 hours with the Senate Foreign Relations Committee in closed session, Secretary of State Cyrus R. Vance said the administration will delay submitting to Congress its Pakistan aid request until discussions are completed with other nations that might join the United States in an economic and military assistance consortium for Pakistan, which borders Afghanistan and Iran.
State Department officials revealed that, despite protests from Israel, the administration has decided to increase military aid to Egypt by $1.1 billion over two years to help President Anwar Sadat, America's major Arab world ally, modernize his armed forces with new equipment, including advanced F16 fighter-bombers.
In disclosing the B52 flights, a Pentagon official said they are planned as the first of a series to demonstrate the U.S. capability to speedily dispatch the powerful eight-engined aircraft to the Indian Ocean and the Persian Gulf.
Defense Department spokesman Thomas B. Ross refused to say from where the bombers flew or where they landed after the flight over the Soviet force of 8 warships and 16 support vessels.
Ross did say the planes used "existing U.S. bases." But he would not disclose how many B52s took part in the demonstration of strength, except to say there were more than one. While Ross stressed that the planes carried no nuclear weapons, he would not disclose how many B52s took part in the demonstration of strength, except to say there were more than one. While Ross stressed that the planes carried no nuclear weapons, he would not discuss what other armament they had.
The closest place to the Indian active base for B52s is the mid-Pacific Ocean island of Guam. However, the Ocean where the United States has an huge bombers can be refueled in flight, a factor that gives them very long range.
President Carter's new use of the B52 as a diplomatic instrument in his "cool war" with the Soviet Union represents almost a full circle for the Boeing bomber.
It started out as a Cold War weapon designed to drop H-bombs on the Soviet Union from high altitudes.
Then, as a antiaircraft missiles on both sides improved, the Air Force spent millions of dollars to strengthen the B52s wings so it could survive the buffeting of flying at low altitudes, under enemy radar, to escape detection.
During the Vietnam war, the B52 was converted from a strategic Cold War weapon to a tactical limited war bomber. It was loaded with conventional bombs and sent over North and South Vietnam and Laos to blast unsuspected enemy troop concentrations, supply routes and industrial facilities.
Now President Carter has enlisted the same bomber in a flag-waving role, with the hope of impressing on the Soviet Union and other countries that American air power can reach any corner of the earth.
In revoking the licenses held by IBM for computer parts for the Kama River plant in the central Soviet Union, Commerce Secretary Philip M. Klutznick said trucks produced there "have been used in Afghanistan in support of the Soviet military invasion."
He did not eleborate, but Commerce sources said the trucks had been identified in television news films as among the vehicles that had transported Russian troops across the Soviet border into Afghanistan.
A note of controversy was injected into the decision when a high-ranking Commerce official, who resigned yesterday, told a press conference that the Commerce Department had known for months that trucks from the Kama River plant were being used for military purposes.
That charge by Lawrence J. Brady, former deputy head of the Office of Export Administration, underscored rumors of dissension within the Commerce Department over how strict U.S. export policy toward the Soviet Union should be.
Klutznick said there was no intention to suggest that the licenses to export the computer parts were "inappropriate" when they were granted to IBM in 1975. But, he added, "Obviously conditions have changed."
Although the revocation order involves exports worth only $80,000, Commerce officials said denial of the parts, used in manufacturing the payroll functions, was intended to hurt production at the Kama River complex. Building of the Kama complex from 1971 to 1975 involved $355 million in U.S. equipment and technology, roughly 12 per cent of the project's total cost.
Postponement of the aid request for Pakistan came less than a week after Pakistani President Mohammed Zia ul-Haq termed the $400 million offer "peanuts." Vance said, though, he is confident that the aid request, which President Carter called "the first order of business" for the returning Congress, will be sent to Capitol Hill in the near future.
Although Vance and other administration officials were vague about the reasons for the delay, it was believed that Zia is balking at committing Pakistan to what he considers an offer insufficient to meet its security needs, wanting first to see how much the ante will be raised by other countries participating in the aid consortium.
The administration is known to hope that additional aid will be supplied by America's European allies, Japan, China and possibly some of the region's oil-wealthy, pro-West Moslem countries such as Saudi Arabia. Negotiations with these various potential donors still are not concluded, and Zia reportedly has said he will not accept aid that might make the Soviet Union and India more hostile to Pakistan until he is sure the assistance is sufficient.
The proposed increase in U.S. weapons sales to Egypt is notable primarily because it will include an unspecified number of F16s, a 2,000-mile-range plane that the United States is supplying to Israel but that previously had been denied to Egypt. Israel's objection to the plan is based on the fear that a future Egyptian government might abrogate Sadat's peace treaty with Israel and use the planes against Israel.