Page images

The Secretary: There is no substitute for winning. All the characters here are busy second guessing.

Mulcahy: That one was killed by the CIA, not the working group. It was not considered safe.

The Secretary: There are not many operations Colby would consider safe.

Mulcahy: Few other things like that. [11⁄2 lines not declassified]
The Secretary: Why?

Mulcahy: I don't remember the reason CIA called that one off. I think they told him the time was not right. It never got to the working group.

There were several other things that came up that I need your views on. Bongo wants to have us try to ship things through Gabon to Angola.

The Secretary: It's a good idea to involve more Africans. Don't you


Schaufele: Yes.

Mulcahy: What about weapons for Bongo himself?

The Secretary: Can't we sell them? We can put it in our program. Mulcahy: It takes a presidential determination to sell them any and there's only $43 million for all of Africa to give or to sell on credit. He'd have to knock someone else off. Mali has already been taken off in principle.

Sisco: We should be responsive.

The Secretary: I think it's a good idea to ship something through it. We can go to Congress on that.

Schaufele: As long as we don't have any illusions with how it will help with the other Africans.

The Secretary: No, but it will help with Congress. Has Easum come in bleeding about Angola?

Schaufele: He wants us to level with the Nigerians on what the South Africans are doing.

The Secretary: Are they in with organized forces now?

Sisco: Yes, that's the real problem with the Africans.

The Secretary: As many as the Cubans?

Mulcahy: No, perhaps 400 but they are very effective. If they pull out of the South, the MPLA will wrap it up. The MPLA has 30,000 under arms now.

Sisco: How does that compare with the other side?

Mulcahy: Well, we think Savimbi has about 5,000 and Roberto has maybe 4,000 in the north and with others, maybe a total of 7,000.

The Secretary: How will it end?

Mulcahy: If we get [dollar amount not declassified] for ammunition it will help solve the ration problem on which they need advice. Maybe we can do it.

The Secretary: Can it be pulled together?

Mulcahy: If we can move in the next two to three weeks.

Schaufele: Roberto was never very good at organization.

The Secretary: What does pull together mean?

Mulcahy: Roberto says the South Africans are helping Savimbi because the US is helping Roberto and he says the stuff the South Africans claim they're sending him is not getting to him.

The Secretary: Is it true?

Mulcahy: We think he's getting it but it's not possible to tell. [dollar amount not declassified] for ammunition and some 4.2 millimeter mortars should help for about 3 months.

The Secretary: Someone should look to see whether we have a scheme which makes any sense. Colby is trying to do the minimum to cover his ass. He'll be in worse shape if he fails.

Mulcahy: The problem is how heavily we should try to get more people involved.

The Secretary: Are the French in?

Mulcahy: At the ceremony, I sat next to a Frenchman representing the President who said they would step up their help. [1 line not declassified]

The Secretary: What else can we do?

Mulcahy: Well, there are US naval forces in the area which Mobutu mentioned.

The Secretary: Should we do it?

Mulcahy: [2 lines not declassified]

The Secretary: Well check with the Navy to see if some presence would scare the Russians a bit.

Sisco: I think we have to be careful with that.

Schaufele: The South Africans want us to do that.

Sisco: Back here, it will undermine our efforts I think.

The Secretary: [less than 1 line not declassified]

Mulcahy: [less than 1 line not declassified]

Sisco: [less than 1 line not declassified]

Mulcahy: [less than 1 line not declassified]

Sisco: [less than 1 line not declassified]

Mulcahy: I think Mobutu is trying to get us more involved. We should first talk to the French who have also been asked to put a ship there.

The Secretary: How's the Mission doing out there?
Mulcahy: Terrific. Walker is doing a very good job.
The Secretary: [less than 1 line not declassified]

Mulcahy: Very well, they're supporting our policy even more than

we are.

The Secretary: More than you maybe. (laughter)

Mulcahy: Should I go to the French to ask about the ship?

The Secretary: The Quai is a very bad channel. We should use the Brossollet channel instead but not with messages drafted in your bureau. Actually, you've been pretty good on Angola.

Sisco: On the Soviet note, do you think there's any opening there in the last two paragraphs? Should we go back to them and say "are you willing to make this good?" Is it meaningful?

The Secretary: Get Hal to draft a reply and draw their attention to these last two paragraphs.

Sisco: I think for the record we need a reply.

The Secretary: Also, will you redo this message to Garba please."

5 Not found.

J.N. Garba, Commissioner for External Affairs, Nigeria. The message is not attached.

145. Memorandum of Conversation1

Washington, December 9, 1975, 4:15-4:49 p.m.


President Ford

Amb. Anatoliy F. Dobrynin, USSR Ambassador to the United States

Dr. Henry A. Kissinger, Secretary of State

Lt. General Brent Scowcroft, Assistant to the President for National Security


Delay of Kissinger trip; SALT; Middle East; Angola

1 Source: Ford Library, National Security Adviser, Memoranda of Conversations, Box 17, Ford Administration. Secret; Nodis. The meeting took place in the Oval Office.

[Omitted here is discussion unrelated to Angola.]

[The President:] There is another problem-Angola. We don't think the turmoil there is good. I know in general what you are doing and some of the others. It is not a healthy situation to have that sort of tearing-up situation going on. If we could find some sort of settlement where no one would lose face...

Dobrynin: We have no troops there.

The President: But you have our neighbors to the south there— Cuba.

Kissinger: If you could get the Cuban troops withdrawn...
Dobrynin: Why don't you talk to the Cubans?

Kissinger: We have almost no contact. But if you could withdraw them we would get other outside forces withdrawn. If you stop the airlift we will do likewise, and we could turn to a coalition.

Dobrynin: Already almost 50% of the nations have recognized one side. They have always refused a coalition.

Kissinger: If you keep putting equipment in and we do, then we create a strain on our relations because then someone must win and someone lose. Then perhaps the UN could help.

Dobrynin: It is difficult to check equipment. We have to do it directly, but through Zaire it can be done indirectly—not that we accuse you of that. I think a political solution should come first. We are not interested in Angola. It was the process of decolonization. But you know how Africa goes. One day it goes this way; another day that way.

Kissinger: We can't defend to our people your massive airlift and the Cuban troops. It can't go on without raising serious questions here. We will have to find ways either to insulate it or match it.

Dobrynin: It is not up to me to argue. Angola is a long way away. I will convey to my government. If you had some proposal other than "you just shouldn't do this."

The President: I am for détente, but this is difficult for me to explain.

146. Transcript of a Telephone Conversation Between Secretary of State Kissinger and the Soviet Ambassador (Dobrynin)1

Washington, December 10, 1975, 10:15 a.m.

[Omitted here is discussion unrelated to Angola.]

K:Secondly, on Angola. We cannot think of any other solution except to ask outside countries to promise not to send more arms in. If you are worried about the border in Zaire, we are willing to consider a UN force there. We promise you we would exercise restraint on our part and to get all foreign forces out.

D: You are asking us to put this on the same level politically. I see no problem with this kind of thing. I already reported what the President mentioned yesterday.? What you are saying, I am going to add. The question really is in this case not very easy to control. It is in the capital of the country and no one knows where they are.

K: But look it will be easily known if something comes in or not. If we don't keep our word, that will affect our relationship.

D: Do you have any ideas if Africa could do something? It is their business. It is not natural for us really.

K: No, but the way we could do it is to have the Organization of African Unity ask all outside powers, you see, and then we would both have an excuse to do it.

D: Ask whom?

K: Ask all outside powers to stop supplying arms.

D: OK, I will pass this on. A public statement from both sides? Who is going to control it?

K: We would be prepared to have the Organization of African Unity control it.

D: Who is going to control South Africa?

K: We have nothing to do directly with South Africa, but we would bring major pressure on them.

D: But if they continue?

K: Look, we are trying to win. We are trying to get everybody out of it.

1 Source: Ford Library, National Security Adviser, Kissinger-Scowcroft West Wing Office Files, Box 31, General Subject File, USSR-Dobrynin/Kissinger Exchanges-Telephone Conversations (4). No classification marking. All blank underscores are omissions in the original.

2 See Document 145.

« PreviousContinue »