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in the face of a clear Soviet power play. I hope, Mr. President, that you will convey this assurance to African heads of state.
I am grateful for this opportunity to exchange views on the Angolan situation with you, Mr. President, and I hope that we can work closely together on this problem in the future. Perhaps we should initiate further contacts among our senior officers responsible for these matters. I would welcome your own views on this serious and complex issue, and propose that we stay in contact on this matter. If you would find it useful, I would be glad to send someone over to discuss the subject in greater detail.
Gerald R. Ford
142. Message From the Soviet Government to the United States Government1
Assertions made in the approach by the State Department of November 222 concerning the Soviet position with regard to Angola could not be viewed other than as an attempt to divert attention from the real causes underlining the events which are taking place in that country.
As has already been stated earlier to the US Government the information disseminated in the USA alleging mass shipments of arms by the Soviet Union to Angola and the presence there of "hundreds" of Soviet military personnel is without foundation. Not a single Soviet man is taking part in the hostilities in Angola. Likewise the Soviet side rejects assertions that it is the support by the Soviet Union of the legitimate Government of the People's Republic of Angola, which is recognized already by many states in the world, [that] is the cause of what is going on in Angola.
The real causes of that are an open secret. It is well known that the foreign monopolies which for scores of years were masters in the land
1 Source: Ford Library, National Security Adviser, Kissinger-Scowcroft West Wing Office Files, Box 30, General Subject File, USSR-Dobrynin/Kissinger Exchanges, Items 98–105. No classification marking. Dobrynin sent this message under cover of a November 28 letter to Kissinger. A handwritten notation on the letter reads: "Delivered to State Department at 5:45 p.m., 11/28/75."
2 Document 140.
of Angola were in no way happy by the beginning of the process of decolonization in this country which was bound inevitably to lead and had led to the victory of the national patriotic forces. That was why even prior to the granting of independence certain foreign circles banked on splitting the national liberation movement in the country and encouraged and supported militarily those separatist movements which bound themselves with foreign interests.
Now the events have reached the point when a direct intervention of neocolonialist forces has begun in Angola, in the first place, on the part of the Republic of South Africa. Regular units of the SAR, detachments of South African and Rhodesian mercenaries are participating in the military actions. It is also known that these groupings receive an extensive aid, including military aid, from the United States. In other words, the original cause of the continuing bloodshed in Angola lies in the interference into the internal affairs of that country by the forces, which do not wish to reconcile themselves to the loss of their position there. And the US Government knows all this.
As far as the Soviet Union is concerned, being a consistent supporter of the liquidation of remnants of colonialism, it recognized the People's Republic of Angola and its Government, formed by the Popular Movement for the Liberation of Angola (MPLA), which enjoys a wide support of the Angolan people as a leading national patriotic organization. It is not by chance that by the present moment the People's Republic of Angola has been already recognized by nearly 30 states of the world, half of which are the African countries-members of the Organization of African Unity (OAU). It shows in itself the groundlessness of statements that the Soviet position on this question supposedly contradicts the position of the African states.
It is also known that after concluding in January 1975 an agreement among the three Angolan movements on the order of granting independence to Angola and on establishing a transitional Government with the participation in it of representatives of those movements the USSR welcomed the creation of such a Government.
Yet, shortly after, the FNLA and the UNITA embarked on the path of undermining the transitional Government thus frustrating its normal functioning and eventually starting military actions which were encouraged and supported from outside.
The Soviet Union never was and could not be in favour of unleashing a civil war in Angola. It has always supported and is acting in support of the aspirations of the Angolan patriotic forces, as well as of the efforts of the African states designed to ensure national independence and peaceful development of Angola. The Soviet Union would only welcome such mode of action which would be pursuing the goal
of consolidating in Angola all the forces that are striving for a genuine independence and free development of this country.
The Soviet Union firmly adheres to the position that armed aggression in Angola be seized and the right of its people be safeguarded to decide by itself how to build the new life under conditions of independence and territorial integrity without any outside interference.
The Soviet Union is prepared to state publicly about it. If the USA is also prepared to make a similar statement and act accordingly, we would welcome this.
In the light of the above-stated, attempts to lay some sort of blame on the Soviet Union for the present developments in Angola are devoid of any foundation. Equally groundless are the endeavors to present this matter in such a way as if the policy of the Soviet Union toward Angola is not consistent with the Soviet-American documents.
143. Memorandum for the Record1
Washington, November 28, 1975.
Approvals by Higher Authority
On 28 November 1975, higher authority reviewed the recommendations of The 40 Committee on Angola2 and approved the following: • Release of [dollar amount not declassified] from the CIA Reserve
[3 lines not declassified]
Deployment of Redeyes and TOWS in the event SA-7's and French anti-tank missiles are not available, subject to submission of the necessary review cited by JCS as to possible compromise of advanced U.S. technology before TOWS are deployed.
Rob Roy Ratliff Executive Secretary The 40 Committee
1 Source: National Security Council, Ford Administration Intelligence Files, 40 Committee Meetings. Secret; Eyes Only. Distributed to Clements, Sisco, General Brown, and Colby.
2 See Document 139.
144. Memorandum of Conversation1
Washington, November 28, 1975.
Under Secretary Sisco
The Secretary: The Soviet note says nothing.2 Tell me about your
Mulcahy: Well briefly, it was a good idea I went.
The Secretary: I read your cables.3
Mulcahy: It was very useful. Kaunda didn't come to Kinshasa because there was a helicopter crash. At least that was the ostensible reason. Actually the real reason was that Amin was there.
The Secretary: Was he irrational?
Mulcahy: No, he was quite soft and gentle and chummy. I saw Roberto for about two hours. I didn't write up my own cables, the Embassy did. We were able to have serious and formal talk. The unanimous answer from each President was they all felt our position was right. We should help more, we should not put in US forces and we should continue our aid.
The Secretary: But can we prevail?
Mulcahy: Without another big input, no.
The Secretary: The President has approved an additional [less than 1 line not declassified]
Sisco: That's good.
Mulcahy: We have a hang-up with the CIA which still says that the [dollar amount not declassified] has not been approved by OMB.
1 Source: Library of Congress, Manuscript Division, Kissinger Papers, Box CL 103, Geopolitical File, Angola Chronological File. Secret; Sensitive. Initialed by Bremer. 2 Document 142.
3 Mulcahy visited Kinshasa November 22-26 to attend the tenth anniversary celebration of Zaire's independence. He met with several African leaders, including Gabonese President Bongo, Amin, and Muboto. Many of his reporting cables are in the National Archives, RG 59, Central Foreign Policy Files.
4 No report of this meeting was found.
Sisco: It was in that package he approved because he approved [dollar amount not declassified]
The Secretary: Will it be successful?
Mulcahy: If we don't act fast with Roberto, it won't be.
Sisco: We've got to move right away.
The Secretary: Well let's see to it that this place pushes, too. Are you acting now Bill?
Schaufele: Yes, I'm in place.
The Secretary: Let's get the [dollar amount not declassified] flowing. Mulcahy: We still have no good answer for the 122 millimeter rockets. Roberto said they used two to three hundred one afternoon and pushed his people back. In Vietnam we had 155 millimeter cannons or air strikes.
Sisco: You should meet with the working group tomorrow and go over the details.
The Secretary: I want an aggressive, strong, affirmative action from your bureau. Your predecessors kept the facts from me for three months. If we had moved in March, we would have stifled it.
Sisco: The intelligence reports this morning say that there are a few more planes available.
The Secretary: The other side knows what we are up against.
The Secretary: They're pushing north are they?
Mulcahy: Yes, and if they bring in the MIGS they can do it. He hasn't made much progress in the north.
The Secretary: How does he impress you?
Mulcahy: He's serious and sober. I think he's intelligent and devoted to his cause. But he has no depth of leadership. His No. 2 is impressive and tough, however.
The Secretary: Does he think he has any hope?
Mulcahy: [4 lines not declassified]
The Secretary: [less than 1 line not declassified]
Mulcahy: [3 lines not declassified]
The Secretary: [less than 1 line not declassified]
Mulcahy: Well, the boat only made 10 knots and it could not be moved without having our people on board and since it could be caught by the MPLA, the American guys would have been captured. So we thought it was best not to send it. But small things like that are getting to him.