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-develop an emergency military assistance program focussed primarily on meeting the Chinese threat;
-[1 paragraph (I line of source text) not declassified];
-coordinate with the British and the Soviets on additional assist
The argument for is that it would be consistent with our overall Asian policy of assisting states threatened by external aggression and would, perhaps at the expense of the Soviets, create a firm basis for a future close relationship with India.
The argument against is that very severe strains would be created in our relations with Pakistan and, more importantly, with China. There would also be the risk of creeping involvement leading to a more extensive commitment involving a direct U.S. confrontation with China.
C. Political Intervention. (pp. 10–13) Rather than assume a relatively passive political posture stressing our neutrality or intervening with military assistance to one side, we could intervene politically. The main purpose of an activist political role would be to first localize the hostilities and then work for a settlement which would remove the basic causes of the fighting.
Immediately upon the outbreak of war we could:
-call for a UN Security Council meeting and support a demand for an immediate cease-fire and negotiations between the parties;
-send immediate Presidential messages to Yahya and Mrs. Gandhi calling for an end to the fighting and a negotiated settlement; -engage in immediate talks with the Soviets and British on ways to end the hostilities;
-privately and publicly urge restraint on the Chinese (and if possible engage them also in the peacemaking effort).
If hostilities have broken out because of an Indian attack or because of Indian support to the Bengali insurgents "we should" also:
-after carefully assessing the likelihood on a Chinese attack on India, move to terminate our residual military sales program for India; -hold up on all shipments and licenses of military supplies destined for India;
-"prepare" to hold economic assistance to India in abeyance at least for the duration of the hostilities.
If the circumstances of the outbreak of hostilities were thoroughly ambiguous then "we should" also:
-publicly suspend military supply to both countries;
-consider suspending economic assistance to both sides;
-urge other major arms supplying countries (Soviets, Chinese, British and French) to suspend arms shipments to both sides.
The arguments for include:
—would provide maximum U.S. flexibility in a complex situation; -would maximize use of U.S. programs and influence to shorten hostilities and inhibit external military intervention;
-would increase chances for U.S. to maintain relations with both India and Pakistan (and perhaps even "Bangla Desh") in the aftermath of hostilities;
-might create conditions in which the U.S. and USSR (and possibly China) could cooperate fully in a common political and peacemaking role.
The arguments against include:
-a heavy, perhaps unbearable, strain would be placed on our relations with India;
-at the same time the Paks could also feel sold out;
-might not succeed in shortening hostilities and encourage Chinese military intervention.
IV. Pre-Hostilities Contingency Actions
Irrespective of the posture we assumed upon the outbreak of hostilities, various U.S. programs and interests in both India and Pakistan would be immediately affected by the war. The paper, therefore, suggests the following operational contingency planning by appropriate U.S. agencies be undertaken soon:
1. Guidance for shipping companies, insurance agents, freight forwarders and customs agents should be prepared. Confiscated cargoes and other related complications caused endless problems after the 1965 war. (Presumably the main agencies involved would be AID, Defense and Agriculture.)
2. MAC should be instructed to review its contingency arrangements for overflying South Asia without any stops. Hostilities could involve extensive bombing of airfields on both sides.
3. Evacuation plans should be reviewed for all posts in India and Pakistan for implementation on short notice.
4. Intelligence coverage of Chinese intentions and capability to intervene in South Asia should be intensified to provide the maximum possible advance warning of any significant Chinese military move. [2 lines of source text not declassified]
5. Intelligence coverage of Indian and Pakistani military activities should be increased as much as possible.
1. The WSAG agreed that Option C of the contingency paper2 on a possible India-Pakistan conflict seemed likely to be the most suitable strategy for the US.
2. The analysis of Option C will be expanded to include a scenario for US approaches to the Soviet Union and the People's Republic of China both before and after the outbreak of hostilities. The WSAG noted the importance of insuring that the Chinese are aware that it is our policy to seek to preserve the integrity of Pakistan. No action will be taken with either the Soviet or Chinese government, however, without prior clearance by the White House.
3. The State Department will prepare a study of a possible cut-off in economic assistance to India. This should set forth specific steps to be taken in implementing a cut-off and should evaluate anticipated consequences.
1 Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, NSC Institutional Files (H-Files), Box H-115, WSAG Minutes, Originals, 1971. Secret; Exdis; Codeword. Sent for information. No drafting information appears on the source text. The meeting was held in the White House Situation Room.
2 The contingency paper on Indo-Pakistan hostilities is summarized in the August 17 analytical summary prepared for the WSAG meeting; see Document 125. Option C called for political intervention to localize the hostilities and to work for a settlement which would remove the basic causes of the fighting.
4. The emergency and evacuation plans for India and for East and West Pakistan will be reviewed and updated.
Mr. Kissinger: I just wanted to have a brief meeting on the contingency paper. It states three options, of which only one-Option 3— is likely to be operative. A passive international approach would not be tolerated by either side. The logic of events, taking into account the Soviet and Chinese involvement, would not permit such an approach. Does anyone disagree with this?
No one disagreed.
Mr. Kissinger: As for military support to India or Pakistan, that also does not seem to be a very probable course of action. So we are left with political intervention, and I would like to talk about that for
We have an overall interest in preventing hostilities. We do not want to be forced to choose between 800 million Chinese and 600 million Indians and Bengalis. We don't want India in the Soviet camp, even though the Indians may be driving themselves there deliberately through the creation of a phony crisis.
Let's discuss this issue in two categories: (1) what we can do to minimize the danger of an outbreak of war and (2) what we can do in case there is an attack.
We need to consider what we would say to the Soviets and to the Chinese and how we could cooperate with the Soviets to prevent a war. Both the President and the Secretary of State have warned the Indians that we will cut off economic aid in case of war. But do we know what that means? No one has looked at the consequences or examined the means of implementing a cutoff. This is something that it is imperative to examine. Could we have some discussion on some of these problems? What preventive actions can we take? What steps can we take to limit the damage in case hostilities occur?
(to Helms) Dick, do we have enough intelligence on what the Chinese, Indians, and Pakistanis are doing?
Mr. Helms: I would like to ask John Waller to discuss that. Mr. Waller: [8 lines of source text not declassified] The overt reporting speaks for itself. [1 line of source text not declassified]
Mr. Kissinger: Do you lose them to the New York Times faster than you can recruit them?
Mr. Waller: The intelligence community has been assessing the critical collection problems.
Mr. Helms: These are all being scrubbed down in our committee.
Mr. Helms: My personal feeling is that they will not do so.
Mr. Kissinger: (to Sisco) What do you think?
Mr. Sisco: I don't think they will launch an attack across the border. However, I believe they will feel free to support the liberation movement in East Pakistan now that they have the treaty with the Soviets. This will be more likely to happen if the liberation movement picks up steam, the relief problem continues, and there is no political accommodation. My reaction is that in no circumstances will the Pakistanis initiate hostilities in the West. If the Indian objective is to achieve a Bangla Desh that they can work with, they will continue to support the liberation movement.
Adm. Moorer: [6 lines of source text not declassified]
Mr. Kissinger: Are the Chinese reinforcing?
Mr. Helms: No.
Adm. Moorer: There are no indications yet that they are. We do know that the Indians have activated some airfields near West Pakistan.
Mr. Kissinger: How quickly would the Chinese be able to reinforce?
Mr. Helms: The terrain is bad, and they don't have the necessary equipment. We would know ahead of time.
Mr. Kissinger: Did they reinforce in 1962?
Mr. Helms: Yes.
Mr. Kissinger: Did we know?
Mr. Helms: Yes.
Mr. Kissinger: What did the Indians think was going to happen? Mr. Helms: As I recall, the Indians had sort of decided to take on the Chinese before the attack took place.
Mr. Kissinger: Thus, their surprise was the result of a judgmental factor.
Mr. Helms: In that part of the world one still has the problem of passions outrunning good judgment.
Mr. Kissinger: Passions don't have to run very far to do that in India.
Mr. Irwin: If Joe's [Sisco's]3 scenario is correct, what steps could be taken to reduce that possibility [that the Indians will stir up trouble]. Adm. Moorer: Doesn't it all boil down to whether the Indians take overt action? The Pakistanis are outnumbered four to one. They certainly are not going to attack.
Mr. Irwin: What would cause the Indians to take action?
3 These and following brackets are in the source text.