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Kissinger: Which group we back is a different issue. What I'm asking is why the U.S. should be so afraid of what we tell Congress.
Colby: We have done this; we've told them and have been well received, generally.
Kissinger: We may reach some point where we think it is hopeless and throw in the towel.
Sisco: Yes. I don't think we've reached that point yet.
Kissinger: We can defend material aid, but I don't want to put in American trainers. Can't we do it with others?
Kissinger: I'm in favor of sending in American weapons if they need them. That we can defend. But we've got to get it in; we can't dole the stuff out. We've got to decide if they can make it or not.
Colby: A problem is money. We've got enough now, but it will soon be a problem.
Kissinger: How can we get more?
Colby: I've asked Congress for more, but unless we get more we will soon be out. I've asked for (dollar amount not declassified) more.
Fish: Adjusting the MAP might help. We have (dollar amount not declassified) and I sent you a note suggesting raising that to [dollar amount not declassified] This would help.
Colby: That would help.
Fish: I'm concerned with what's on the ship—[less than 1 line not declassified)
Scowcroft: (less than 1 line not declassified]
Kissinger: Has anyone estimated what it will take to stabilize the issue?
Hyland: They are not losing because of lack of equipment.
Fish: They broke and ran when they were attacked by rockets. Training would have had them in trenches and they would have been okay. The troops went into shock and ran.
Kissinger: How many troops involved?
Potts: Yes, and Portuguese advisors.
Kissinger: Are the Portuguese any good as trainers? I once reviewed a Portuguese honor guard and if those guys could beat anyone ..
Fish: Well, we go back to black Brazilians.
Kissinger: No difference if they are black or white. My concern is if we don't have people who are trained, how can they handle the weapons? If we send in Americans there will be the cry that we are starting another Vietnam, and I've been on the Hill all week explaining that we are not doing that in the Middle East.
Colby: [less than 1 line not declassified]
Colby: Let's summarize-we'll send American weapons, if necessary; train UNITA in Zaire; try to get non-American trainers in Angola ...
Smith: Americans training in Zaire, but not Angola?
Smith: I think we ought to avoid U.S. trainers there. To the extent we engage in training there I think we ought to use non-Americans.
Colby: I would prefer no restrictions on training in Zaire. [1 line not declassified)
Smith: I could take that better than training.
Kissinger: I'll take your views to report to the President. Or you can submit a paper if you wish. I would prefer to keep paper to a minimum.
Colby: Yes, so would I.
Smith: No, that's all right. I've said what I want to say and wanted to be sure you understand my position.
Kissinger (to Colby): What about Mobutu?
Colby: He has sent in troops and may send more. We can encourage that or tell him to keep his hands off. [1 line not declassified]
Kissinger: I saw a report this morning that said Mobutu and Roberto were cooperating. Cabinda is less of a priority. Why does he want to do it now?
Colby: He feels he needs a victory.
Smith: He's right there.
Sisco: If he moved into Cabinda now there is a danger that he would be overextending. Second, African leaders look with quiet acquiescence on his moves into Angola, but Cabinda would be a different matter.
Vance: There is the problem of the reactions of Roberto and UNITA—they would not like this.
Potts: A Cabindan liberation force might get licked. It shouldn't go in if it is not going to win. I think that should be our best argument with Mobutu and then we help him organize and train the force.
Kissinger: Cabinda has a lower priority than Angola. But, it would be better to take it than to let it go to the MPLA.
Cutler: He can't do much about the MPLA in Angola, so he'd like to take Cabinda, and hope to create a buffer zone in northern Angola.
Hyland: Mobutu could take Cabinda anytime he wanted.
Colby: Let me summarize what we've said and see if you agree. Don't encourage him to go into Cabinda with his own troops. If the situation in Angola gets worse, then we won't stand in his way.
Smith: Let's give the Cabindans training. If that's going to determine whether they can win or not, let's do it now.
Colby: We can give arms and training to the Cabindans.
Colby: What's why he wants to take over Cabinda now, before MPLA gets too strong.
Vance: If he does it will help divide Roberto and Savimbi, and affect our strength in Angola.
Hyland: It hasn't yet, and Mobutu has told Roberto that henceforth their efforts in Cabinda will be joint. He means to take over Cabinda but not to annex it to Zaire.
Kissinger: I want to get something straight here. What is our strength in Angola?
Potts: The fear is that this move would divide Roberto and Savimbi and they would not work together.
Hyland: There's an advantage if Savimbi stays in alliance with Roberto. The Portuguese want cooperation with the MPLA so they can walk away. Unless Savimbi sees some hope he will have no option but to cooperate with the MPLA.
Kissinger: What does that mean—a takeover by the Communists?
Hyland: Whenever that point is reached Mobutu will take over Cabinda.
Kissinger: How many MPLA troops are in Cabinda?
Colby: There's also the danger that the Congo might move if Mobutu moves.
Kissinger: What does that mean?
Kissinger: Well, this could be a blow to the U.S., Cabinda's loss on top of the loss of Angola. If Angola is going down the drain, then Mobutu should take Cabinda. The question is should we arm and train Cabinda forces?
Fish: Why not?
Hyland: If we don't help Mobutu on Cabinda-something that is close to his heart—but spend (dollar amount not declassified] on Angola, he is going to wonder what kind of friends we are.
Kissinger: Let's arm and train Cabinda forces and see if we can get something going.
Smith: Can he handle both?
Kissinger: But not so nakedly. Start a commotion first. As long as nothing happens why should Savimbi object? If Savimbi joins the front, he turns against us. If we don't help Cabinda, what can we do?
Colby: Support Cabindan efforts against the MPLA.
Kissinger: We're not sending them in, but training a standby capability.
Colby: We need to stop a MPLA takeover. We can straighten things out after we stop the MPLA.
Kissinger: I don't think revolutionary war is our specialty.
Hyland: But by November we have to do something.
Kissinger: We need to get something now. If we wait until November then it will be too late. The UN will move in.
Colby: If Savimbi could take these ports (points to map). Then we would get the railroads.
Kissinger: Can he do it?
Fish: If we were to do that in six weeks we would have to send in lots of arms.
Colby: [less than 1 line not declassified]
Colby: Things are not good in the north, but if we could get Savimbi to show something ...
Sisco: The odds are very strongly against it.
Colby: We might approach the Chinese and ask them to increase their support.
Kissinger: We look like pitiful characters. Angola is about as far away from the Soviets as they can get, so we go to the Chinese who are also about as far away from China as they can get-all because we can't do anything. If this was 1960, you'd win it.
Colby: Yes, no problem. Because we have to tip-toe through the tulips with Congress—that stops us.
Kissinger: At this point we must do all we can.
Colby: We can arm 1,000 Cabindans, train them and get them ready to act in Cabinda while holding off Zaire troops for now.
Sisco: When they are needed, let us know—come back to us.
Colby: In the south, give our full support including U.S. weapons, if necessary.
Kissinger: Right. Don't dole them out, waiting for a signed chit from a soldier that he has only a few bullets left.
Colby: Not too parsimonious with U.S. arms. Savimbi's request for trainers ...
Kissinger: I think I know the President's answer—you'd better look elsewhere for trainers.
Colby: More trainers, training in Zaire.