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Mr. Hyland said we were supporting Roberto and that Mobutu would not allow the Communists to take over.
Dr. Kissinger asked if we did not care what happened in Angola. If we do, is (dollar amount not declassified) enough for Roberto? And what else can we do?
Mr. Hyland said we could give arms.
Mr. Sisco said that our diplomatic involvement is not to recommend help for Roberto. Our diplomatic posture is hands off.
Dr. Kissinger says that stands to reason, but what does Roberto need and are we doing enough? Does he need our organizational help?
Mr. Colby said that if you are talking about people, he would have to get them through Mobutu-that we should not try to use Americans.
Dr. Kissinger asked if Mobutu would know how to do it.
Mr. Colby replied that he had done it before and would be able to do it again.
Mr. Hyland said that what we have now is a civil war.
Dr. Kissinger said we would have to take a position. What is going to happen in Angola?
Mr. Hyland said that this fall someone will be dominant, but that Mobutu would not allow Neto to take over.
Dr. Kissinger said we needed to complete the NSSM."
Dr. Kissinger said we were involved here. Didn't someone tell him he would be welcome to visit the U.S.?
Mr. Hyland said that he walked into the Embassy and said he would like to come to the U.S. and asked for arms.
Dr. Kissinger said yes, but didn't someone tell him he would be well received here?
Mr. Sisco said he doubted it. The judgment is Roberto versus Savimbi.
Dr. Kissinger said the proposal is to give money to Savimbi in order to get into contact with him and to support Roberto if we don't want Neto to win. We need to finish the NSSM. If they took six weeks they wouldn't come up with anything different. Let's get it in next week. Then we can determine what our interest is. By early July we will have a position.
[Omitted here is discussion unrelated to Angola.]
Reference is to NSSM 224 and its response, Documents 105 and 109.
Private Meeting between UNITA President Savimbi and Zairian President
(less than 1 line not declassified]
(114 lines not declassified]
(less than 1 line not declassified]
1. Dr. Jonas Savimbi, President of the National Union for the Total Independence of Angola (UNITA), met privately with Zairian President Mobutu Sese Seko in Kinshasa on 28 May 1975 to discuss the situation in Angola. Mobutu said he had appreciated Savimbi's assessment of the Angolan situation, presented during their joint meeting with Holden Roberto, leader of the National Front for the Liberation of Angola (FNLA), and that this assessment more closely corresponds to the independent reports which Mobutu receives. Mobutu said he believes that FNLA leaders inside Angola are not accurately reporting the situation to Roberto, and Mobutu no longer trusts these reports. He said he was aware that Savimbi regularly briefed Presidents Julius Nyerere of Tanzania and Kenneth Kaunda of Zambia and he, Mobutu, would like to be included on these briefings. Savimbi agreed.
2. Mobutu raised the subject of Roberto's failure to return to Angola, saying that Roberto feared he would be assassinated. Savimbi replied that if there are elections in November, Roberto must return to Angola soon or face the accusation that he is a coward which will thwart any election chances of the FNLA. Mobutu said that Johnny Eduardo Pinnock, the FNLA Presidential Council representative, had
Source: Library of Congress, Manuscript Division, Kissinger Papers, Box CL 102, Geopolitical File, Angola Chronological File. Secret; No Foreign Dissem; Controlled Dissem.
tried to convince Roberto to return to Angola but without success. Mobutu asked for Savimbi's assessment of Eduardo, and Savimbi praised Eduardo's leadership abilities. (Source Comment: Savimbi believes that Mobutu may be looking for a replacement for Roberto as the FNLA leader and that Eduardo is a potential candidate if Roberto refuses to enter Angola.)
3. In discussing recent developments in Angola, Mobutu said he does not want a civil war there. He believes that the Soviet Union would heavily support the Popular Movement for the Liberation of Angola (MPLA) in a civil war. Mobutu asserted that the Zairian economy cannot support an armed struggle against the supply capability of the USSR, nor does he believe that the West would support the moderates in a struggle of this type. Therefore, a civil war would probably bring to power a Communist government in Angola which would be against the national interests of Zaire.
4. Mobutu said that although he and Savimbi had had disagreements, he believes that Savimbi's initiatives are the best alternative to civil war. He stated that Kaunda and Nyerere also believe in Savimbi as the only force which can save Angola. Mobutu said he wants regular contact with Savimbi and that, although the Zairian economy is in serious trouble, he would find some financial support for him. It was then that Savimbi agreed again to return to Kinshasa for regular meetings with Mobutu. Mobutu said he would soon be able to advise Savimbi more specifically of the support which the Zairian Government could provide. Mobutu claimed he had terminated his assistance to the FNLA; but said that FNLA forces had been well armed by the Chinese.
5. [less than 1 line not declassified] Savimbi was pleased with the turn of events in Kinshasa between himself and Mobutu; however, he does not fully understand nor trust Mobutu's motives. He will probably again see Mobutu secretly during his 10 June visit to Kinshasa and believes that he will be in a better position to assess Mobutu's new approach to him at that time. Savimbi suspects that there has been some kind of a breach between Mobutu and Roberto. Savimbi said he had, in strictest confidence, briefed the Zambian Prime Minister and the Secretary General of Zambia's ruling party, UNIP, on the substance of his discussions with Mobutu.)
6. (11/2 lines not declassified)
1. Attached is a paper discussing in a preliminary way what could be done covertly to support a major effort to prevent a Neto takeover in Angola.
2. [372 lines not declassified]
3. Please do not reproduce these papers and return them when no longer needed.
1. Covert action in support of an effort to prevent Neto from taking over Angola would fall under three categories:
a. Covert financial aid to Neto's principal opponents at a level matching that now enjoyed by Neto. (For example, [1 line not declassified) puts the Yugoslav aid to Neto at U.S. $1.7 million and Yugoslavia is not his chief backer.)
b. Covert political action to prevent civil war in Angola and advance a Roberto-Savimbi coalition. Neto's best chance of dominating Angola appears to be to push the FNLA back into the Bakongo tribal area and then crush UNITA militarily leaving the MPLA on top in Luanda and other key cities. By stopping the fighting we improve chances for an FNLA-UNITA coalition, and FNLA seems to rest on too narrow a tribal base (the Bakongo people) to win supremacy in Angola without a more broadly based ally such as UNITA.
c. Covert military aid to Mobutu to permit him, in the failure of efforts to end the fighting, to arm and resupply the FNLA and possibly the UNITA forces from his army's own stocks with the assurance that the United States Government would inconspicuously make good his losses.
2. Covert financial aid could be carried out in secrecy. Payments to the principal leaders opposing Neto could be made directly and with the recipients sharing an interest in secrecy. With this covert financing
Source: Library of Congress, Manuscript Division, Kissinger Papers, Box CL 102, Geopolitical File, Angola Chronological File. Secret; Sensitive; No Foreign Dissem.
we might include advice on political, intelligence, financial and logistic matters but this could be managed secretly.
3. Covert political action could include secret collaboration with Mobutu and Kaunda individually to try to keep them working in concert. In this connection we might provide Mobutu with funds to help him line up political support for his Angolan cause in Africa, including efforts to cut down facilities available to Neto in Brazzaville. We could secretly seek Kaunda's help in providing Savimbi with political advice, especially in helping him on the African and international stage. We could help Kaunda in his efforts to stop the flow of arms to Angola and to encourage initiatives such as an OAU-sponsored peacekeeping force in Angola. We could also attempt to break off some of Neto's lieutenants and to encourage the fragmentation of his organization. We could inspire greater attention in the world press to the staging of arms from the USSR through Brazzaville and to other similar issues.
4. We have considered an effort to provide “covertly" weapons, ammunition and improved training to match further escalation in the level of fighting. Such weapons of both U.S. and foreign origin are at hand in current stocks in sufficient quantity to match any likely needs in the immediate future. Similarly communications gear and transport could be readily found. Deliveries to the FNLA or UNITA would require an African intermediary through whom to stage such help. Mobutu would no doubt do this for the FNLA and possibly the UNITA as well. In the event of air delivery from the United States, however, security would be weak. Such an arms flow to Angola would be quickly detected and publicized with damage to the international standing and political prospects of the FNLA and UNITA. Similar side effects argue against the hiring of mercenaries or the provision of aircraft. Unlike the earlier Congo efforts, we do not have the umbrella of a legitimate central government asking our help. Therefore, it seems more feasible to encourage Mobutu to use his existing stocks which could be replaced less conspicuously by sea shipment.
5. Exposure of American arms aid to the FNLA through Mobutu would tend to spoil political efforts to get African leaders such as Kaunda, Nyerere and Gowon behind efforts to stop the fighting. And to stop the fighting remains very much to the advantage of Neto's opponents.
6. The attached budget figures are very tentative and based on a force of 10,000 fighting men each for UNITA and FNLA. These strengths are probably high for military combat action alone, but are based on the needs expressed by both Roberto and Savimbi.
7. In brief, covert financial aid and covert political action appear feasible choices. Military aid can best be extended via Mobutu and without American or American-hired technical advisors if we are to keep any degree of security and to avoid damage to efforts to keep