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Mr. Noyes: They only have 11 of limited capacity.
Mr. Kissinger: They would have to have some logistics back-up. Mr. Noyes: They have three ships which could move 8000 men in a week's time.
Mr. Van Hollen: Despite all the problems, our mission in Islamabad estimates that Yahya is prepared to use force.
Mr. Noyes: They have 15,000 troops in Dacca.
Mr. Kissinger: You mean 15,000 of their 20,000 troops are in Dacca? They might just want to hold Dacca.
Mr. Johnson: This is not a situation which would be resolved by the use of force.
Mr. Kissinger: Doesn't contingency 38 get us three weeks, if not more. If the matter goes to the National Assembly we should have several months to study it.
Mr. Johnson: In those circumstances we would have no immediate foreign policy problem.
Mr. Kissinger: If an autonomous situation develops-possibly two constitutions with some vague confederal links-would we be required to make some immediate decisions?
Mr. Van Hollen: It would depend on the West Pakistan reaction. It would probably buy us time. Something short of a unilateral declaration of independence might be accepted by West Pakistan. In that event, they would not use force.
Mr. Kissinger: How would two separate constitutions work? The National Assembly wouldn't meet? Or would meet and draft two separate constitutions?
Mr. Van Hollen: It wouldn't have to be done by the National Assemblies; the country could be operated by the provincial assemblies. The Provincial Assembly in East Pakistan could draft their constitution. Mujib in the East and Bhutto in the West would wield effective power.
Mr. Kissinger: Would East Pakistan conduct its own foreign policy?
Mr. Kissinger: In any event, that's not our problem. If West Pakistan accepts a solution in which each part conducts its own foreign relations, we would go along. If West Pakistan doesn't accept such a solution, we will have to decide whether to go along and grant recognition to East Pakistan. There would be no need for us to take a
Contingency 3 of the contingency study cited in footnote 3 above outlined a U.S. response to a situation in which Pakistan rejected a unilateral declaration of independence and attempted to put down the secession by force.
stand on autonomy. If they declare independence, we face the recognition question. If autonomy is rejected, we face the problem of our positions on the use of force. In other words, we have to face the question on the use of force in independence and autonomy. We face the problem of recognition only if they declare independence. Is that a fair statement? What are your views on this?
Mr. Johnson: On autonomy, if West Pakistan does not accept that solution and seeks to use force, I think we would want to discourage the use of force. We would do the same in the event of a unilateral declaration of independence.
Mr. Kissinger: If I may be the devil's advocate, why should we say anything?
Mr. Johnson: If the West Pakistanis use force, there will be a bloodbath or, at least, a situation of great turmoil in East Pakistan. If it is quickly over, there would be no problem. But if it continues, there would be problems. The Indians, and possibly others, might feel impelled to intervene if it continued. In the short run, probably not.
Mr. Kissinger: What would we do to discourage the use of force? Tell Yahya we don't favor it?
Mr. Johnson: We would first go to the British to try to get them to take the lead. We shouldn't take the lead.
Mr. Helms: Amen!
Mr. Kissinger: Intervention would almost certainly be self-defeating. Mr. Johnson: We have no control over developments and very little influence.
Mr. Kissinger: When is Mujib's statement?
Mr. Helms: Tomorrow at 1600 GMT.
Mr. Van Hollen: Another reason for our not taking the lead is that West Pakistan is very suspicious that we are supporting a separate East Pakistan state. If we tell Yahya to call off the use of force, it will merely fuel this suspicion.
Mr. Kissinger: The President will be very reluctant to do anything that Yahya could interpret as a personal affront. When we talk about trying to discourage West Pakistan intervention, we mean try to get another country with a history of concern in the area to do it. Would they do it in both our names?
Mr. Johnson: We're not at that point yet. We've just begun to look for someone to do it, if necessary. How it is done and the degree of our association will be decided at the time. Our objective is to discourage the use of force.
Mr. Kissinger: Will this mean that Yahya is through anyway?
Mr. Van Hollen: Not necessarily. He could still remain as President with Bhutto wielding all effective political power.
Mr. Kissinger: Yahya had counted on being in control because of the divisions in the National Assembly.
Mr. Van Hollen: Of course, the elections seriously eroded his position.
Mr. Kissinger: He had been able to play off Bhutto against East Pakistan. If East Pakistan becomes an independent state, Bhutto is in effective control in the West.
Mr. Van Hollen: Yahya will continue to represent the military establishment which is a significant political force in West Pakistan. He may retain some limited residual power.
Mr. Kissinger: In any event, we can't neglect him.
Mr. Johnson: No.
Mr. Kissinger: Let's keep that in mind.
Mr. Johnson: It would be most unwise to do anything to prejudice our relations with Yahya. To whatever degree he remains and has power, we should do what we can to help him.
Mr. Kissinger: Would it make any difference if we suggested to West Pakistan that the use of force would be unwise? You understand I don't mind having another country taking the rap.
Mr. Johnson: When we say "discourage" or "participate in discouraging" we don't mean pound the table and tell them they can't do it. We mean discuss it with them.
Mr. Helms: We don't want to get into a family fight.
Mr. Kissinger: If we could go in mildly as a friend to say we think it's a bad idea, it wouldn't be so bad. But if the country is breaking up, they won't be likely to receive such a message calmly. If we can get the British to do it, I wish them well!
Mr. Johnson: There has been no decision on our part to do anything. This is the purpose of our talks with the British.
Mr. Kissinger: If we should make an approach, we might give them an alibi, so that Bhutto could say that the Americans, by warning them against the use of force, kept West Pakistan from restoring the unity of the country.
Mr. Johnson: That's right.
Mr. Kissinger: It is essential that we discuss this with the British. Mr. Johnson: We can't reach a decision now on how to proceed. If we can get someone else to take the lead, okay. If not, we will have to decide whether we want to do anything. I am not proposing we do anything, but it is a course of action we may have to consider.
Mr. Kissinger: I think we all see the pros and cons clearly. Alex (Johnson) and I will talk after his talks with the British. Every department will be consulted before we make any move. We will also have a chance to take the issue before the President if necessary.
Mr. Van Hollen: The British may be very reluctant to do anything. It does have some advantages, though, because the Pakistanis are not as suspicious of the British as they are of us and the British odor in Pakistan is not bad now because of their attitude toward the recent hijacking.
Mr. Kissinger: In the highly emotional atmosphere of West Pakistan under the circumstances, I wonder whether sending the American Ambassador in to argue against moving doesn't buy us the worst of everything. Will our doing so make the slightest difference? I can't imagine that they give a damn what we think.
Mr. Helms: I agree. My visceral reaction is to keep our distance as long as we can.
Mr. Kissinger: Alex (Johnson) will talk to the British and we will all consult tomorrow-unless, of course, Mujib's speech is conciliatory. What if they declare their independence? Will we get an immediate recognition request?
Mr. Johnson: Probably, but we don't have to rush. We can see what Mujib says in his approach to us. We shouldn't be the first to recognize. We will want to consult with the British first since they have interests in both East and West Pakistan.
Mr. Van Hollen: The Japanese do too; also, possibly the West Germans and the French.
Mr. Johnson: We will want to recognize eventually but not be the
Mr. Van Hollen: Of course, if the parting is amicable and we get a request for recognition, it would be okay.
Mr. Kissinger: Suppose the request for recognition comes to our Consul General in Dacca. What will he say?
Mr. Van Hollen: He will refer to Washington.
Mr. Johnson: I'll tell them so this afternoon, not that I think he would do anything else.
Mr. Kissinger: Option 39 suggests we consult with the Indians in case a military situation develops. I wonder whether we should do that. I can see that, if there is a threat of Indian military intervention, we might wish to advise them that we think it unwise.
Mr. Van Hollen: The prospect of Indian intervention is very slim in the early stages.
Mr. Kissinger: I question too great activity on our part. We can't win anything from it, and some Pakistani leaders would be delighted
"Of the contingency study.
to stick us with it. I wonder whether we should intervene with them or with the Indians.
Mr. Johnson: There is a case to be made for massive inaction.
Mr. Helms: Absolutely.
Mr. Kissinger: I'm just going through the options. The possibility of Chinese military intervention seems so unlikely.
Mr. Johnson: The paper dismisses it.
Mr. Kissinger: I assume the mention of international diplomatic intervention was put in for intellectual symmetry.
Mr. Van Hollen: That is far down the road. If a real blood-bath develops, comparable to the Biafra situation, we may want to review the picture. In such case, international attention could be focussed on the problem, but this is a long way ahead.
Mr. Johnson: In any event, we wouldn't threaten West Pakistan with any sanctions.
Mr. Kissinger: Or call our Ambassador home for consultation. Mr. Johnson: Our Ambassador is in Bangkok for some medical problem.
Mr. Kissinger: Who is our Chargé?
Mr. Saunders: Sid Sober. He's a good man.
Mr. Johnson: Yes. We don't need to rush the Ambassador back. Mr. Kissinger: I was really only joking. We'll be in touch tomorrow. Mr. Johnson: I'll get something out to our people today giving them our thinking. When will we know about the speech tomorrow? Mr. Noyes: About 5:00 a.m.
Mr. Saunders: There is a ten-hour time difference. We should know fairly early in the morning. Yahya's speech of yesterday was on the CBS 8:00 a.m. news today.
Mr. Johnson: Our Operations Center will be on the alert for the speech.
Mr. Kissinger: We'll check with each other as soon as we know about the speech—with a view to taking no action!
Mr. Helms: What's the situation at the Technical University (in Ankara) today?
Mr. Kissinger. What about the four Airmen? Do they still think they are in the University?
Mr. Saunders: We have no word. The Embassy doesn't think they are in the University and the Turks have widened their search-they went into 100 private homes last night looking for them. The demonstrations have stopped, though, and things are quieter today.