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Colby: (less than 1 line not declassified]
Scowcroft: Do you have to go through the notification procedure to ask directly for a supplemental?
Colby: We would have to hook on to someone else's supplemental.
Colby: No, that's what we've been trying to avoid-revealing the intelligence budget. [less than 1 line not declassified]
Clements: That's possible. We may be.
Scowcroft: Look at all the possible options. Not only for this, but other things that might come up.
Colby: Right. The three options (referring to charts) are about the same. The main difference is in air. These are big operations. The scope and size are such as to make one question whether we should attempt it.
Scowcroft: Can they use such material?
Scowcroft: Option B, encouraging South Africa. What does that include specifically?
Colby: They'd like to get their troops out, and hire mercenaries. They say that they don't have the money to do this and have turned to us. I think that this is political dynamite. The press would be after us. They and Africans would say that the MPLA is supported by the big, brave Russians, while the others are backed by the bad South Africans and Americans. That would be unpleasant.
Sisco: More than that. Your description is too mild. What is in the interests of the South Africans? They have more interest in being there than we do and they don't need our help. I do not favor giving any support to the South Africans. I do not think we ought to get into the position of financing their effort. I want our lawyers to look into the legal question, but even if it is not illegal, it certainly would be violating the spirit of several UN resolutions. I have strong reservations about this. We would not want to discourage them, but leave them to their own devices.
Scowcroft: We do not want to discourage them.
Mulcahy: We've given them permission to purchase the civilian version.
Potts: Yes, but they must sign an agreement not to use it for military purposes.
Colby: On the legal question, I'd like our lawyers to talk with yours (Sisco's).
Sisco: What would these three options buy for us? The Soviets have the bit in their teeth and they are not going to let go. What would be the practical impact of these options, and over what period of time?
Colby: I've said before that I do not think that the full impact of the Cuban influence has been felt yet. I thought maybe by the middle of December, but maybe now not until January. But once it does, the direction of the fight will go all the other way. The (dollar amount not declassified) will slow but not stop it; the (dollar amount not declassified] might hold it awhile; the [dollar amount not declassified) might enable us to go ahead.
Potts: These are not mercenaries; they are regular Cuban troops. And the experienced Cubans and best equipment were in the North.
Sisco: What is the capacity of our side to fight?
Colby: They are not much different from the other side, but the others have had training by the Soviets.
Scowcroft: It is a question of whether or not they will break and run at a rocket attack. With South Africans beside them they have done well.
Clements: What is all this talk? I've visited there and these people want to fight. They are natural fighters; they even eat each other. Leadership is the main factor.
Sisco: Is it possible to give priority to some leadership component? Second, with the hardware, what do they get to combat Soviet air support?
Colby: We definitely have not done the training that was needed, because we had to concentrate on a surge of equipment. Savimbi wouldn't send any of his men out for training-he claimed that he needed them. We have been helped by South African and Zaire's troops.
Potts: And the relationship between some of the outsiders and the locals is not good. They are always squabbling.
Walters: The Portuguese commandos did well in the North when they were left alone.
Colby: Well, we've put in this material and have not been able to do the training.
Scowcroft: Can't we do a better job of identifying mercenaries?
Nelson: The French have put in $1.5 million in ammunition and they are going to put in another $.5 million.
Sisco: What it comes down to is the quality of leadership.
Nelson: Even with good leaders, when they first meet up with tanks and armored cars, they will run.
Colby: As to your second point about air, all we would include here would be anti-air.
Sisco: What about pilots flying Zaire's Mirages?
Potts: They have cut their order from France in half. They started with 15, cut it to 12 and now six, simply because they did not have the money. This (dollar amount not declassified) item (pointing to chart) would be for gunships.
Scowcroft: That would raise things to a whole new level. American technicians—that would introduce another level.
Colby: If we contemplate a long fight we will have to send in Americans.
Sisco: We can't send Americans.
Walters: This is disturbing to the Brazilian military, but they recognized the MPLA within hours and they also supported the Zionist resolution.
Scowcroft: The diplomatic option is fine, but to expect anything to come of it until the Soviets see the results of what they are putting in, is unrealistic.
Colby: I'd rather put (dollar amount not declassified] in to get other African nations into the act.
Sisco: Well, these options are not mutually exclusive.
Colby: We ought to help the Africans become more aggressive on this issue. If Amin wanted (dollar amount not declassified) to do this, I'd give it to him.
Scowcroft: What we come down to is this: Do we quit now or stay in the ball game? Ten African countries have already recognized the MPLA.
Colby: We could send delegates to an OAU meeting.
Scowcroft: There's just no chance of that having much of an impact.
Potts: The Soviets would be embarrassed by it.
Scowcroft: I don't disagree that we ought to do all we can, but as part of, not instead of doing something else.
Colby: Let's go full tilt to see if we can get the Africans to act.
Scowcroft: Well, we need an options paper for the President. Check with Lynn on the options for getting money.
Nelson: Don't forget that we will have to tell Congress.
Colby: We could have a bad problem-McGovern, Dick Clarkthey've already spoken against this.
Brown: Congress would be opposed to doing anything except through State.
Scowcroft: We've really had modest flack on this so far. We've spent (dollar amount not declassified) Maybe we can't do anything more, but let's at least give the President the options.
Colby: Options, not alternatives.
Sisco: I'd like to see a little more precision as to what the options can do.
Brown: Yes, more specifics. Another thing, the last thing we want to do is to get Mirages in there before any MIGs show up. Then we would be accused of escalating things. The Ambassador has ordered our Defense Attaché not to even look across the river to the airport. We have a wire that the Ambassador said this stand was supported by the NSC Staff.6
Horan: It is a new subject to me.
Potts: The Defense attaché has been flying his plane [112 lines not declassified]
Scowcroft: Look into that, Joe.
Sisco: I see two broad alternatives—a position where we admit defeat or we opt for stabilization at this cost.
Scowcroft: Can't we send a couple of squads across the river to Brazzaville with bazookas?
Horan: Mobutu's reaction to the news of the MIGs was to ask for radar, Redeyes, aircraft.
Clements: Say, not to change the subject but any late news on Fernando Poo?
Potts: We have some photos of what's there.
Clements: The Russians have moved in there. This is important. We talk about Diego Garcia; that's nothing compared to Fernando Poo. It is a former Portuguese ...
Scowcroft: I see no difference of opinion. We want to do what we can on the diplomatic front, and try to stay in the ball game militarily. How do
feel? Brown: I'd like to see us develop a paper and see what we think we can accomplish with each option. Although we should not propose using any Americans.
Sisco: I concur in that.
Sisco: We ought to drive hard on the SA-7's. We ought to exert every effort to get those before we turn to Redeyes.
Clements: Are we interested in increased reconnaissance of Angola? Say, with the U-2's?
Potts: Very much.
Brown: We can do this with the U-2 or SR-71. The U-2 is better. Although we'd have to fly that out of Ascension, which means we need the Brits' concurrence.
Clements: What do you think, Joe?
Brown: The U-2 would be simpler, respond faster, cheaper, although we'll have to get permission of the British. The SR-71 is more expensive and there would be a longer reaction time, but we could launch from the U.S.
Colby: Go over Brazzaville, too.
Colby: Joe, in this diplomatic endeavor, we will, of course, do as much as possible in the covert field to support you.
Scowcroft: Give us the proposals—start with one that is bare bones to keep things together. I note that the [dollar amount not declassified] package contains aircraft; maybe that is not necessary and you can cut that some. It may not be essential.
Sisco: Option One-show what it means geared to the thrust of what the Soviets are putting in.
Colby: We'll do that for the three options.