« PreviousContinue »
The President has directed that a contingency planning paper be prepared concerning the U.S. position in light of possible developments in South Asia.
-The paper should include a description of present U.S. strategy and steps taken to prevent the outbreak of hostilities. Additional steps in pursuing this strategy that could be considered in coming weeks to prevent or lessen the likelihood of the outbreak of hostilities should be discussed and their pros and cons assessed.
-The paper then should discuss the options open to the United States should hostilities occur.
The study should be prepared by an Ad Hoc Group comprising representatives of the addressees of this memorandum and the NSC Staff, chaired by the representative of the Secretary of State. This paper should be submitted by July 12, 1971, for consideration by the Senior Review Group.
Henry A. Kissinger
1 Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 365, Subject Files, National Security Study Memoranda, Nos. 104–206. Secret; Exdis. A copy was sent to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
Memorandum From Harold Saunders and Samuel Hoskinson of the National Security Council Staff to the President's Assistant for National Security Affairs (Kissinger)1
Washington, July 3, 1971.
Refugee Aid in India and Relief Assistance for East Pakistan
You have agreed in principle to the distribution of U.S.-supplied food to the East Pakistani refugees by Indian Government agencies, but have asked "what this means."
The U.S. voluntary agencies and international humanitarian organizations simply do not have the capacity to distribute on a timely basis all of the 105,000 metric tons of wheat being sent to the refugees. Only the Indian Government agencies experienced in food storage, handling and distribution and actually running the refugee camps can handle the size that this job has become. The U.S. voluntary agencies and international agencies will continue to play a vital role in supplementary feeding and in coordinating international contributions, but the main burden for distribution must now fall on the Indians themselves.
In terms of mechanics, this means that we will at least in part be replacing the substantial amount of food that the Indian Government has already distributed from its tight emergency and price control stocks and which the U.S. voluntary and international organizations have diverted from their important normal feeding programs in India. They have done this in order to move quickly to stave off famine among the refugees until emergency supplies from abroad actually arrive in India (there is a several week lag). The rest of the food will upon arrival go directly to the U.S. voluntary agencies, international organizations with feeding programs and to the Indian Government agencies for immediate shipment to and distribution within the refugee camps. The U.S., as part of its food agreement, will insist that the UN High Commissioner for refugees have access to distribution records.
There is, of course, also a political angle with the Pakistanis but as the magnitude of the refugee problem has become increasingly clear it has receded considerably. U.S. assistance has all been in response to
1 Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 597, Country Files, Middle East, India, Vol. IV, 1 Jul-30 Nov 71. Confidential. Sent for information.
several international appeals by U Thant and under the general auspices of the program established by the UN High Commissioner for Refugees. Moreover, the Pakistan Government has insisted that they only have the army distribute any food we put into East Pakistan and can hardly, therefore, complain about Indian Government involvement with refugee feeding.
In short, what this boils down to is that distribution in part through Indian official agencies is the only approach mechanically possible under the circumstances. We will keep the UNHCR and the voluntary agencies intimately involved and insist on the best safeguards possible under the circumstances.
At the same time, Maury Williams has reactivated the cyclone disaster committee of last fall to prepare for the contingency of large-scale food shortages in East Pakistan later this year.2
Facts on the situation are still incomplete, but these seem to be the main elements:
-People throughout East Pakistan are probably already experiencing food shortages and the situation in the cyclone-affected areas is especially severe.
-The most critical problem is getting food off the ships, through the port of Chittagong and on to distribution points inland. Port operations are resuming only very slowly, the road and rail transportation out of Chittagong is disrupted and, for a variety of reasons including Bengali insurgent operations, inland water transportation is unable to make up the difference.
-The political situation may also provide a major impediment to food distribution since the West Pakistanis are clearly not well informed about some important aspects of the food supply problem, civil administration is in disarray and food distribution will probably be used to strengthen the regime's political image.
-President Yahya has made a formal request to the UN for assistance and has agreed to the stationing of a UN representative in Dacca to help assess requirements and coordinate the sending of supplies from abroad.
-The US stands ready to resume shipments promptly of 170,000 tons of wheat under the existing PL-480 program, to sign an agreement for another 150,000 tons for the disaster area and to negotiate a
2 The Consulate General in Dacca reported on July 6 that there was a serious threat of famine in East Pakistan, and that prospects for averting widespread hunger were not good. (Telegram 2507 from Dacca; ibid., RG 59, Central Files 1970–73, SOC 10 PAK)
new PL-480 agreement as soon as the food can be moved. The Pakistanis have requested 250,000 tons of food grains over the next six months. Right now, however, the limited pipeline is full and some 200,000 tons of PL-480 wheat alone has been temporarily diverted from East to West Pakistan. In addition, another 250,000 tons from non-U.S. sources are stored in West Pakistan awaiting shipment to the East.
So far we have provided about $2 million in grant assistance for boats and foreign crews to be used for distributing food and other emergency relief supplies. Negotiations are also under way with the Paks on a $4.9 million rehabilitation program for the area devastated last winter by the cyclone. This money is what still remains from the total of $7.5 million appropriated by Congress for cyclone disaster relief.
90. Memorandum for the Record1
New Delhi, July 6, 1971.
Description of Kissinger-Haksar Talk
Dr. Kissinger met alone with Prime Minister Gandhi's personal secretary, P.N. Haksar, at 6:00 p.m. July 6 in New Delhi. The following represents Dr. Kissinger's brief description of the conversation after he returned to the Ashoka Hotel.
Dr. Kissinger said he had calmed Haksar down. Haksar had started critical comments of the US policy on arms assistance to Pakistan. Dr. Kissinger said he had told Haksar that if India were going into a paroxysm over this there was no way in which the US could respond. If the Indians could quiet down, the US would try to work quietly over the next few months to encourage a settlement of the refugee problem. Dr. Kissinger said that Haksar conceded that the US could not respond to a public furor. Haksar said that the government of India had a problem: It did not want to go to war but it did not know how not to go
Later, Dr. Kissinger recalled that he had told Haksar that he thought the Indians were just making a lot of noise in order to set up
1 Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 1327, NSC Unfiled Material, 1971, 5 of 12. Secret; Nodis. Drafted by Harold Saunders.
an invasion of East Pakistan. He said that he had suggested that he and Haksar talk about "ways not to have a war."
After further conversation with Haksar and Foreign Secretary Kaul, at dinner, Dr. Kissinger said his assumption is that they are playing power politics with cold calculations. This is quite different from the embassy's assumption that this is a genuine Indian feeling against our arms aid to Pakistan. He said that he had told Haksar that "we are men of the world." Haksar knows that aid does not make the difference. Even if the US shipped all $29 million worth of military equipment, it would not make any difference in the situation. So let's stop yelling about something that does not make a difference and talk might.
91. Memorandum of Conversation1
New Delhi, July 7, 1971.
Indira Gandhi, Prime Minister of India
P.N. Haksar, Private Secretary to the Prime Minister
Dr. Henry A. Kissinger, Assistant to the President
Harold H. Saunders, NSC Staff
The Prime Minister and Dr. Kissinger met privately for the first 10-15 minutes. During this time, Dr. Kissinger delivered a letter2 from the President. He later told Mr. Saunders that she had explained her political problems. She said that she does not wish to use force and that she is willing to accept any suggestions that the US may have. She told Dr. Kissinger how serious the situation was and said that India is not wedded to any particular political solution in East Pakistan. She also volunteered that India is not preventing the refugees from returning to East Pakistan, as the Pakistanis have charged. She is afraid of mounting Chinese influence in East Pakistan.
1 Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1970-73, POL INDIA-US. Secret; Nodis. Drafted by Saunders on July 12. The meeting was held in the Prime Minister's Office in New Delhi. The conversation was summarized in telegram 10864 from New Delhi, July 8. (Ibid., Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 578, Indo-Pak War, India Chronology, Dr Kissinger)
2 Document 86.