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Hyland: What is there in any of this that will be militarily significant?
Nelson: (less than 1 line not declassified) are not really decided on this.
Smith: If they don't get there soon there won't be any impact.
Potts: We are working hard on the Portuguese technicians—400 or 500.
Scowcroft: Can you (less than 1 line not declassified] right away and get something moving?
Colby: We'll go ahead this afternoon and get this going.
Scowcroft: Now you'll want another (dollar amount not declassified] to repaint
Clements: Are you speaking with the authority of three stars, or just kibitzing?
Scowcroft: Which is more advantageous?
Hyland: Why in that (dollar amount not declassified] list is there only (dollar amount not declassified] for weapons?
Colby: Most of the weapons were in an earlier package.
Hyland: That's in the (dollar amount not declassified) package. If we could get some 8mm artillery in one or two places, wouldn't that make a big bang? And then the other side would break and run.
Potts: Artillery without artillerymen is not much good.
Horan: The first two blew up, didn't they?
Hyland: If we don't have something soon, things will happen. If a tank comes through the bush, they'll break and run and it will roll right along.
Colby: There's a problem with TOWs.
Smith: If you want to go to two...
Scowcroft: Be as positive as possible. Let's push this. Henry plans to talk to them at NATO.5
Colby: On the less than 1 line not declassified] request, I regret to say that we recommend a cold shoulder. I've told the Congress that (less than 1 line not declassified) are doing things and that we know about them, but that we are not collaborating.
Clements: What do they want?
Colby: (Reading from paper) Fuel, C-130, steel planking for an airport, etc.
Scowcroft: We can get the fuel to Mobuto, will that help them?
Ingersoll: We go along with CIA. Any evidence of a direct approach would be terrible. The political problems are hurting us now.
Colby: There is another element of contention here. [142 lines not declassified]
Clements: I agree.
Clements: It goes beyond that. We say we want to encourage them. But what does that mean? Does it mean only lip service? We want to implement things that will help. There are lots of ways to skin a cat. That's what we've got CIA for. They don't need our dollars, just what we can make available to them.
5 The NATO Ministerial meeting was held December 11-12 in Brussels, Belgium. During a meeting at Ambassador Firestone's residence December 12, Kissinger provided an assessment of the situation in Angola. He predicted: "In two months, if the present rate of reinforcement continues, our people think the MPLA can take over." Callaghan offered to work with France and Germany to persuade the South Africans to leave Angola, and to meet with African leaders to postpone or prevent recognition of the MPLA as the legitimate government of Angola. (Memorandum of conversation; National Archives, RG 59, Records of Henry Kissinger, 1973–1977, Lot 910414, Nodis memoranda of conversation of Secretary Kissinger and related documents, September 1973-January 1977)
Scowcroft: We could help indirectly—like with fuel.
Mulcahy: I saw Roberto the week before last. He was complaining that we are splitting our aid 50–50 with Savimbi and since the South Africans are helping only UNITA, he's on the short end.
Potts: But he also has Zaire troops helping him.
Colby: As we tell them that we are continuing to do things, the South Africans will be encouraged to stay in.
Nelson: They are well informed on our delicate political situation.
Clements: If we could get a load of fuel, we ought to go ahead and do it.
Scowcroft: Any other items?
Nelson: One problem there that we ought to surface. (1122 lines not declassified]
Scowcroft: Better get them into Angola soon.
Potts: Yes, it will cost about [dollar amount not declassified) per month. (11/2 lines not declassified]
Scowcroft: We definitely ought to do this.
Clements: Are we working on this (dollar amount not declassified) list?
Scowcroft: We'll work on the specifics later. The working group will get that in shape and bring it back to us.
Ingersoll: [less than 1 line not declassified]
Potts: (less than 1 line not declassified] U-2—Angola—Item 2
Scowcroft: Let's look at the U-2 coverage of Angola. Are we talking about one flight?
Colby: This started with the MIGs—we wanted to see if they were there. We would also get some good battle information.
Smith: We could not determine about the MIGs at the time.
Colby: I have some reservations now. We have gotten some photography, although the U-2 would get us a lot more on a clear day.
Scowcroft: Is there ever really a clear day?
Scowcroft: If we are talking about one flight, we could stage it from Florida. We did that in the Middle East.
Clements: Yes, that looked good in the White House, but it was not very well received in the Pentagon. It cost a bundle.
Colby: I'm concerned about the reactions on the Hill. They would throw fits.
Scowcroft: Over what?
Colby: I'm telling you how they would react; I'm not saying whether it is right. I think the real question is, is it worth it?
Ingersoll: Yes, is it worth the risk?
Potts: No. We got one satellite picture, but it doesn't show anything
Ingersoll: You've got a satellite over there?
Colby: Yes, but it can't do much because the weather is always bad.
Hyland: Anything up now?
Scowcroft: It go with the weather—when there is a break in the weather. I don't feel that strongly about it now-if there are no MIGs. Can't we get someone to go take a look?
Hyland: But you can't see all the fields from Zaire.
Potts: His people saw the same crates, but when we sent them back they weren't there.
Clements: It is not worth it now.
Ingersoll: Let's defer any decision. Henry expects to raise this with Callaghan.
Scowcroft: It wouldn't hurt to get agreement from the British, but don't twist their arm too hard. Especially since there are no MIGs now.
Hyland: But the one place where we can't look is the logical place for them to put them.
Colby: The key thing is that they have not been used if they are there—they have not shot at us yet.
Scowcroft: But if they do shoot, [less than 1 line not declassified]
Scowcroft: Doesn't Mobutu have some people he could send across the river to take a look?
Hyland: Do the French have diplomatic representation in the Congo? Why can't they send their military attaché to have a look?
Potts: He wouldn't be allowed into a military airfield to look.
Potts: We've paid out 500 francs for similar reports but they are of no value.
[Omitted here is discussion unrelated to Angola.]
148. National Security Study Memorandum 2341
Washington, December 13, 1975.
The Secretary of State
United States Policy Toward Angola
The President has directed a review of United States interests and objectives in and policy toward Angola.
The study should describe United States political, economic and strategic interests in Angola and assess:
-Similar interests of other powers-Soviet, PRC, or other.
Source: Ford Library, National Security Adviser, NSDMs and NSSMs, Box 2, NSSMs File, NSSM 234. Secret; Eyes Only.